It’s something that the Border Patrol said is happening more and more often in recent months, as Customs and Border Protection announced Thursday that border apprehensions continued to drop in December for the seventh straight month.
For her new show in Fox Nation, “24 Hours,” Tomi Lahren spent a day with the Border Patrol in that region of Texas, where she did a ride-along in a vehicle, boat and from the air.
The McAllen Air and Marine branch took Lahren on an operational flight of a Black Hawk helicopter patrolling the border. Ten seconds after takeoff, the crew received the first report of possible illegal traffic.
“The adversary, which in our area is both the Gulf Cartel and the CDN, which is the Los Zetas cartel, they have every advantage over here,” John Morris, Division Chief-Law of Enforcement Operations in Rio Grande Valley Sector told Lahren, as they flew over the river separating Mexico from the United States.
The helicopter crisscrossed the river, identifying nearly a dozen suspected illegal border crossers. Then a call came in, reporting a larger group.
The pilots quickly reported that they found about 10 men and they positioned the helicopter directly over them. They also identified an individual on horseback on the Mexican side of the river. He was likely a scout for the cartels, they said.
“It’s not uncommon once the agents are on scene, the cartel will push the women and children into the water to make their escape, because none of them can swim,” said one of the agents. “They know that we will divert over to do a rescue on the women and children while the person makes an escape back down south.”
“Tomi, right behind us, there’s Government of Mexico forces,” said Morris suddenly, as two Mexican military vehicles pulled up on the Mexican side of the river, soldiers leapt out and ran into the brush.
“Have you guys always seen this kind of Mexican military response or is that recent?” asked Lahren.
“We’ve always worked well with them, but it’s been significantly increased over the last few months,” said Morris, “which has been part of the help of the totality of the circumstances which have brought our numbers down the sector.”
Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan also credited enforcement efforts at the border for bringing the latest decline in Thursday’s announcement. In May, more than 144,000 individuals were apprehended or turned away at the height of the border crisis — that number declined to 40,620 last month.
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Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this report.