ROMA, Texas — On Memorial Day morning, nearly 200 migrants crossed into the United States. As several Army National Guardsmen stood watch, rafts crossed from Mexico carrying mostly family units.
In a steady stream, migrants were suited with flotation vests and loaded onto rafts. Smugglers waded across the river, pulling the loaded rafts until reaching the United States side of the border. The migrants lined the banks of the river, waiting for Border Patrol to escort them to buses.
According to one Border Patrol agent speaking on the condition of anonymity, “This happens every night … the Rio Grande Valley stations will arrest nearly 1,000 before daybreak.”
The smuggling operation was closely coordinated by the river guides to sync with the availability of Border Patrol buses.
Army National Guard troops stationed along the river could do little more than watch and illuminate the area for the migrants