Residents in the southern part of Texas are used to hearing about illegal immigration. The area has long been a hot spot for those looking to cross into the U.S. without first obtaining the proper documentation.
The Border Patrol is also increasingly taking notice of the area, as evidenced by the agency’s recent acquisition of a blimp, which was formerly owned and operated by the Department of Defense. The blimp, which sports state of the art surveillance equipment, can be seen from miles away on both sides of the border, and is the latest sign that the Border Patrol is ready to crack down in the region.
Resident in the Rio Grande Valley, where the blimp is located, have differing opinions regarding it. Some consider it a form of visual pollution, just the latest in a series of anti-illegal immigration efforts which has seen the area become peppered by watch towers, fencing, and other overt anti-illegal immigration measures. But others says that something has to be done stem the tide of immigrants, which most residents agree put both public and private property in jeopardy.
In addition to the blimp, the agency is also taking other measures in the region. The Border Patrol recently transferred over 100 agents from Arizona and California to the Rio Grande Valley. The changes are being made, according to officials, to put greater resources into the areas which have the greatest needs. In addition to the Rio Grande, officials are focusing on the Laredo and Del Rio areas.
The Border Patrol says that is not simply targeting illegal immigrants. The agency is also targeting more serious illegal activities, such as the importation of humans by human traffickers, and the importation of drugs by smugglers. Additionally, Border Patrol agents hope to use the newly deployed forces to help crack down on those who wish to smuggle funds illegally out of the United States into Mexico.