Spike in high-speed car chases reported at border

Immigration

(NewsNation Now) — The United States border patrol really keeps a close eye on our roads in and out of the country.

What they’re looking for is illegal human smuggling, trafficking of drugs and other contraband. However, what they’re also seeing is an uptick in people just trying to get away, which often leads to disastrous and fatal conclusions.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced its agents encountered a record 1.7 million migrants trying to enter the U.S. during the 2021 fiscal year.

That is an 82% increase from 2019.

CBP also said that surge had led to an increase in high-speed chases between border patrol agents, migrants and smugglers trying to flee — many of those resulting in deaths and serious injury.

The San Diego border patrol sector saw 24 so-called failure-to-yield incidents last year compared to 4 incidents in 2020 during the same time period — a 475% increase.

Agents say they witnessed excessive speeding, reckless driving, vehicle crashes and property damage accounting for many injuries and hospitalizations.

In a statement, Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke said, “This reckless behavior poses a serious risk to our neighborhoods, the motoring public, and our agents. We will not tolerate these tactics and will continue to seek criminal prosecution for anyone involved in them.”

Just last month on Christmas Day, a border patrol pursuit ended with one person dead after the driver of the car being chased lost control, hit a tree and caused three of the four passengers to be ejected from the car.

According to the ACLU, there have been a total of 213 fatal border patrol encounters since January 2010 and 72 of those deaths resulted from border patrol pursuits.

The Border Patrol has a policy that allows agents to use their own discretion and pursue vehicles if they believe the benefit outweighs any potential risk. But the ACLU points to that policy in particular, saying that’s much too lenient and often leads to some of these disastrous consequences after all.

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