Exhausted National Guardsmen in Texas have been spotted sleeping in a truck in Texas as migrants poured across the border illegally, while in California a Cuban man tragically drowned while trying to swim into the U.S.
The incident in Texas unfolded near the border in Roma during the early hours of Tuesday, as border personnel stretched thin from a huge surge in illegal crossings apparently couldn’t stay awake.
Cameras from Fox News were rolling as migrants gathered patiently near the truck with the two sleeping Guardsmen, waiting to turn themselves in to claim asylum in the U.S.
Finally, one of the migrants politely knocked on the window of the truck to alert the Guardsmen, according to Fox Business correspondent Hillary Vaughn.
Migrants wait to surrender as two National Guardsmen sleep in a truck in Roma, Texas early on Tuesday
A smuggler takes migrants, mostly from Central American countries, on a small inflatable raft towards U.S. soil in Roma, Texas on Wednesday. A surge of migrants on the Southwest border has the Biden administration on the defensive
Migrants wade through shallow waters after being delivered by smugglers on small inflatable rafts to Roma on Wednesday
Migrants, mostly from Guatemala, wait at a U.S. Border Patrol intake site after they were smuggled on an inflatable raft across the Rio Grande in Roma, Texas on Wednesday. The lights of the Mexican city of Miguel Aleman are seen in the background
Vaughn and her cameraman watched as hundreds of migrants illegally entered the U.S. across the Rio Grande, many of them wearing wristbands indicating they had paid Mexican cartels to ensure their crossing.
In Texas, several hundred Guardsmen have been sent to the border to assist overwhelmed Border Patrol agents.
National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) President Brandon Judd told Fox News that the exhausted Guardsmen falling asleep on the job is a “good example of the strain cartels are putting on government resources.”
“All personnel are having to work extremely long hours, often away from home while living in hotels,” he said.
Recent months have seen a huge surge in illegal crossings at the southern border, with many migrants apparently viewing the Biden administration as more welcoming.
In January and February, apprehensions of unaccompanied minors who crossed the southern border illegally surged 92 percent from the same period last year, according to data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
An unaccompanied minor, 7, who said she came alone from Mexico, gets off of a small inflatable raft onto U.S. soil after being delivered by a smuggler in Roma, Texas, Wednesday, March 24, 2021. She claims she is trying to reach relatives in the U.S.
Migrant families wade through shallow waters after being delivered by smugglers on small inflatable rafts on U.S. soil in Roma, Texas on Wednesday
Smugglers talk to journalists after they delivered a group of migrants across the Rio Grande river in Roma, Texas, Wednesday
More than 300,000 solo adults were apprehended in the same period, a surge of 188 percent.
The huge number of people attempting the often dangerous illegal crossing has taken a tragic toll, including the latest example of a Cuban man who drowned trying to swim to California.
The migrant’s body was recovered on a Tijuana beach, after he apparently tried to swim around a sea barrier that extends into the Pacific Ocean.
The Biden administration says that it’s working to address the increase in migrants coming to the border.
On Wednesday, President Joe Biden tapped Vice President Kamala Harris to lead the White House efforts at the U.S. southern border and work with Central American nations to address root causes of the migration.
The government also issued a statement saying it will provide a daily tally of child migrants in custody.
The government said there were nearly 5,000 children in Border Patrol custody as of Tuesday and an additional 11,551 at shelters from the Department of Health and Human Services.
The body of a Cuban migrant, who drowned while swimming to cross into the U.S., lies on the sand near the border fence at Playas Tijuana, in Tijuana, Mexico
An agent inspects the body of a Cuban migrant, who drowned while swimming to cross into the U.S., in Tijuana Wednesday
The migrant’s body was recovered on a Tijuana beach, after he apparently tried to swim around a sea barrier with California that extends into the Pacific Ocean
Forensic technicians carry the body of a Cuban migrant, who drowned while swimming to cross into the U.S.
Pressed repeatedly on the border issue at his first news conference since taking office, Biden said his administration was taking steps to address the situation with measures such as setting aside space at a Texas Army base for about 5,000 unaccompanied minors. But he mostly fired back at criticism.
He noted that his administration, as was done under President Donald Trump, is continuing to quickly expel most adults and families under a public health order imposed at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The crucial difference is that the government is allowing teens and children, at least temporarily, to stay in the country, straining government resources during the pandemic.
“The only people we´re not going to let be left sitting there on the other side of the Rio Grande by themselves with no help are children,” he said.
The situation along the U.S.-Mexico border has become an early challenge for the administration, drawing more questions than any other subject at the maiden news conference, and diverting attention as the administration addresses the pandemic and the economy.
The number of migrants attempting to cross the border is at the highest level since a spring 2019 surge under Trump, according to the most recently released statistics. The numbers appear to be rising and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas recently warned they are on pace to hit a 20-year peak.