Border Patrol Crack Down on I-40 - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

11.22.07

Border Patrol Crack Down on I-40

Illegal immigrant traffic is picking up in Amarillo.

Local border patrol agents rounded up 16 travelers today suspected of sneaking into the country.
   

Agents tell NewsChannel 10 there are typically more undocumented people on Amarillo's roads this time of year. 

Christopher Richards, a local Border Patrol Agent says,  "Our focus has gone from illegals at local fast food places to illegals that are transiting.. What we focus on is those aliens who are on their destination.. They entered a week ago, maybe they're spending a couple nights at a stash house and they're on their way through town, that's why we work I-40."  

Newschannel 10's Julia Bagg takes us inside local Border Patrol headquarters where one illegal immigrant arrested today shares his story.

   More than a dozen detainees are now spending the night in a Randall County jail and could be on a bus back to Mexico in the morning.

"It's kinda bad you know, because I never thought that this would happen to me." 23-year-old Misael Matias snuck into the U.S. as a teenager and graduated from high school in New Jersey. "I crossed the border, but I run with luck, nobody caught us.. And I've been there for seven years. "

He had returned to Mexico for his grandmother's funeral. Border Patrol agents in Amarillo pulled over the van he was riding in on I-40 today. A highway agents like Richards call a hub for illegal traffic.

 "It's a crossing transit point from stuff that's coming from the south to the north and sometimes back to the west. But probably the busiest is that coming from Arizona and California travelling east."

Arizona is where Matias and eleven others were coming from when agents pulled them over in Amarillo. As an illegal alien, he likely faces deportation, along with his companions.  "I'm here and I don't know what's gonna happen next."

But he does know what will happen if he ends up back in Mexico. "Honestly I'll try to come back."

Border Patrol agents tell us they arrest about a hundred people a month in Amarillo for entering the country illegally.

Matias says he's in the process of applying for legal residency.

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