Dozens of Africans, children from Congo, detained after crossing Rio Grande near Del Rio

DEL RIO – More than three dozen people from Central Africa were picked up by the U.S. Border Patrol after illegally crossing the Texas- Mexico border near Del Rio on Saturday, June 1, according to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection news release.

The group, which consisted most of family units, was spotted crossing the Rio Grande by agents during a line watch operation, records state.

“(People) from around the world are traveling thousands of miles just to enter the United States illegally to exploit our immigration laws,” said Raul L. Ortiz, Del Rio Sector chief patrol agent. “We are continuing to see a rise in apprehensions of immigrants from countries not normally encountered in our area.”

The group of 37 included several small children and were from the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and were taken to the Eagle Pass South Border Patrol Station, according to the release.

Since Oct. 1, 2018, agents have apprehended over 27,000 people from about 37 different countries other than Mexico, according to the release.

The Del Rio Sector has seen a 500% increase of non-Mexican migrants from the 2018 fiscal year.

The Del Rio Border Patrol Sector is part of the Joint Task Force-West South Texas Corridor, which implements federal, state and local resources to combat transnational criminal organizations.