Del Rio Sector Border Patrol officials report a recent increase in the number of migrants from Africa being apprehended after illegally crossing from Mexico.

“During last summer, Del Rio Sector experienced an increase in arrests of people from countries in Africa,” Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul L. Ortiz said in a written statement. “These arrests decreased beginning in about August, but starting this fiscal year we have seen a resurgence in this demographic.”

Del Rio Sector agents apprehended 56 migrants last week from the continent, officials stated. The countries include migrants from Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Congo, Guinea, and Sierra Leone.

So far this fiscal year, which began on October 1, Del Rio Sector agents apprehended about 300 migrants from 11 countries from Africa. During all of FY 2019, agents in this sector apprehended 1,211 from 19 different countries.

“Those who wish to enter the United States should do so through a Port of Entry, rather than put their families in the hands of smugglers and through the treacherous Rio Grande River,” Chief Ortiz said. “Not only are they traveling great distances but the danger they face crossing the border could lead to a deadly outcome.”

During a Monday morning press conference, acting U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan told reporters that Mexican cartels are changing their tactics in regards to human smuggling because the agency closed loopholes for Central American migrants. These changes led to 95 percent of Central American migrant families facing a legal consequence or being placed on a pathway for removal, Morgan explained.

“In FY20 to date, those apprehended by Border Patrol so far in Fiscal Year 20, more than 95 percent of the illegal aliens apprehended trying to illegally enter this country were subject to a legal consequence or a removal pathway,” the commissioner stated. “So it’s clear. Migrants who illegally enter cross the southwest border will be removed or returned and illegal border crossing caseloads are being resolved more expeditiously than ever before.”

He explained that the cartel-connected human smugglers are now reaching out across the globe to other demographics.