Amid ongoing efforts to combat illegal immigration, the Border Patrol arrested four sex offenders and MS-13 gang members just last week.
In four separate incidents, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents discovered and arrested two sex offenders and two MS-13 gang members in Arizona and Texas.
Border Patrol Snags More MS-13 Members, Convicted Sex Offenders Trying To Jump Border https://t.co/FcPgibsp6M
— National Police Association (@NatPoliceAssoc) December 24, 2018
Agents with Ajo Station, part of the Tucson Sector, arrested a 46-year-old Mexican native near Lukeville, Ariz. on Wednesday, according to a CBP release. Agents later learned that he was a convicted sex offender, with a 2002 charge involving a minor from Mesa, Ariz.
The next day, a 24-year-old El Salvador national was arrested by Nogales Station and later discovered to be a member of the MS-13 gang.
Both individuals had previous deportations and are designated felons.
— TucsonNewsNow (@TucsonNewsNow) December 22, 2018
On Tuesday, Eagle Pass North Station agents in Texas encountered a Honduran national who entered into the U.S. illegally after crossing the Rio Grande River, a separate CBP release described. Upon processing, agents learned the suspect was an MS-13 gang member with prior deportations.
Eagle Pass agents then arrested another Honduran native on Wednesday after he was discovered to be in the country illegally, according to the CBP. Agents discovered the suspect was a registered sex offender and had served prison time for a 2012 sex offense involving a child in New Jersey. He was also previously deported.
“Del Rio Sector is committed to ensuring the safety of our communities,” said Del Rio Sector Acting Chief Patrol Agent Matthew J. Hudak. “Thanks to the hard work and diligence of our agents, another dangerous sex offender has been stopped from committing any more crimes in the United States.”
CBP’s apprehension of MS-13 gang members isn’t a new phenomenon, however.
At least 377 MS-13 gang members have been arrested by CBP so far in 2018, out of a total of 728 gang member arrests, according to CBP data. The number is climbing once again after a decline in 2017 and 2016.
One source of the rising numbers is the Central American migrant caravan.
Last month, CBP agents arrested a Honduran national who admitted to traveling with the migrant caravan and was found to be an MS-13 gang member, Fox News reported.
Tucson Border Patrol agents arrested an MS-13 gang member Tuesday afternoon who was traveling with a migrant caravan. https://t.co/mTcSERHXCC
— azcentral (@azcentral) December 1, 2018
Hours later, CBP agents arrested another Honduras native who was released only months earlier from a Honduras prison after serving prison time for a murder conviction. The suspect finished out a 10-year homicide sentence and three-year robbery sentence before traveling to the U.S. border with the migrant caravan.
Approximately 6,000 migrants traveled from Central America via caravan and ended up in Tijuana, Mexico.
Last month, The Department of Homeland Security had claimed that approximately 500 migrants among the caravan were criminals and gang members, Fox News reported at the time. The rising number of arrests does confirm their presence in the caravan, but the total number is not known.