What’s happening at the southern U.S. border with Mexico is indeed an invasion, as per Kinney County Sheriff Brad Coe.
“We’re experiencing a silent invasion of military-age men,” Coe said when describing what his deputies have been increasingly facing over the past two years.
He talked to The Center Square while participating in an Operation Lone Star task force, which spanned multiple days and involved law enforcement officers saving foreign nationals from a burning vehicle and reviving a five-year-old girl who was being smuggled and had been hidden inside a car’s trunk.
Coe referred to it as the “silent invasion,” primarily carried out by single men of military age, ranging from 17 to 45, who are illegally crossing into the U.S.
They’re often seen wearing camouflage attire and carrying backpacks, as seen in video footage from county-wide surveillance cameras reviewed by The Center Square. A significant number of them are armed and pose a danger, engaging in robberies and even exchanging gunfire with law enforcement, Coe pointed out.
It is suspected that these men are working or have ties to Mexican drug cartels. Once they reach major U.S. cities, they integrate with local gangs and cartel associates, essentially behaving like a “Trojan horse,” according to Coe.
“They set up in our cities, take over through voting and or crime, and scare the local people who move out. It’s happening in Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio,” he said, where crime has also exponentially increased over the last few years.
He said, “You can win a lot of battles without getting violent,” referring to the “silent invasion” as an act of war against the U.S. by Mexican cartels.
Coe, a former Border Patrol agent, took office on January 1, 2017. He asserts that he has never witnessed anything like the current situation in his entire life. He noticed a deterioration in conditions shortly after President Joe Biden made changes to border security and immigration policies, and the situation has continued to deteriorate since then.
For instance, in 2022, his deputies carried out 877 arrests, resulting in the filing of 3,057 felony charges. Out of all the criminal cases filed that year, 927 were linked to immigration issues, specifically concerning illegal foreign nationals or smugglers, he said.
While these numbers are unprecedented, the number of people who got away is even greater. Detected on cameras making their way through the county on foot, nearly 21,500 foreign nationals were detected but weren’t apprehended last year. That’s at least seven times the size of the county’s population. Their whereabouts are currently unknown.
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