(NewsNation Now) — Migrant crossings have skyrocketed over the past year, with numbers already up nearly 140% from this time last year.
NewsNation’s new border correspondent Robert Sherman had a firsthand look Tuesday at the human impact of the ongoing crisis.
He witnessed Border Patrol agents processing a group of 14 migrants, including children, who crossed illegally. Two of the migrants said they came all the way from El Salvador.
Sister Norma Pimentel runs a shelter in the Rio Grande Valley, which cares for hundreds of migrant families at a time. Many have traveled thousands of miles to get there, desperately needing food and shelter.
“(They are) human beings just like you and me,” Pimentel said.
Meanwhile, Texas DPS says forces in the field are being run ragged trying to keep up with all the crossings, despite new assets joining the effort both on land and water.
This past weekend was a busy one, with 420 encounters in the Rio Grande Valley sector alone.
The flow of illegal drugs is also a concern, with fentanyl seizures up 134% over the last fiscal year.
This week alone, nearly half a million dollars worth of marijuana was seized in the Rio Grande Valley.
Pimentel, however, sees the drugs and crime as a separate crisis. At the shelter, she sees people desperate for a new life.
“It’s a totally different group of people that are entering asking for help, for safety, for protection,” Pimentel said.
This week, the Biden administration is making the border more of a priority. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas will be traveling to Arizona and Texas and Vice President Kamala Harris will be in Honduras later this week.