United States Border Patrol agents of El Centro Sector have demonstrated significant law enforcement achievements along the sector’s 72 linear miles of border shared with Mexico and three immigration checkpoints during fiscal year 2019.
El Centro Sector now employs over 700 uniformed agents assigned to 3 line-watch stations in Calexico, El Centro, and Indio, California.
In fiscal year 2019, El Centro Sector Border Patrol continued with its risk-based strategy utilizing the three pillars of information, integration, and rapid response to maintain a level of effective border control. This control was obtained by identifying cross-border threats, utilizing and maximizing partnerships with federal, state, and local agencies, and deploying a rapid response to mitigate these threats quickly and effectively.
A ‘’legacy fence’’ wall replacement project consisting of 2.2 miles of 30-foot bollards was completed in October 2018. There is also a project that is approximately 11 miles in length. This project will be split up into two areas. The first area is 7 miles at the end of the newly constructed 2.2 mile wall near the Grand Plaza Outlets to the Pullium Road. The second is 4 miles from the downtown port of entry in Calexico up to the end of landing mat fencing at Barbara Worth Road. Additionally vehicle barriers to the west of Calexico will be replaced with 15 miles of 30 foot bollard style wall. These projects are ongoing and expected to be completed in November 2020.
From Oct. 1, 2018 through Sept. 30, 2019, El Centro Sector Border Patrol statistics included the apprehension of 35,170 persons for illegal entry into the country. This is a 19 percent increase from fiscal year 2018. This increase is attributed to the influx of family units and unaccompanied children and adults particularly from countries other than Mexico. El Centro Sector saw its highest number of people from other than Mexico ever with 15,870 this fiscal year from an also high number of the year before of 10,474 a 51 percent increase.
El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents seized 199 pounds of marijuana, an 8 percent decrease over fiscal year 2018. Cocaine seizures decreased 62 percent to 61 pounds; methamphetamine seizures increased 62 percent to 2,684 pounds; and heroin seizures increased 77 percent to over 1,617 ounces compared to last year’s 910 ounces. Fentanyl seizures increased 12,915 percent from around .3 pounds to 39 pounds.
These results did not occur without significant challenges and enormous dangers. In El Centro Sector there were a total of 158 assaults on agents while in the performance of their duties. This was 28 percent increase from the prior fiscal year. This fiscal year 2019 El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents rescued 81 people as compared to 14 people last fiscal year.
El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents processed a total of 2,698 unaccompanied alien children (UAC) this fiscal year compared to 2,720 last fiscal year, a .8 percent decrease from last fiscal year. Sector agents also processed 7,924 family units compared to 3,548 the prior fiscal year, a 123 percent increase.
“El Centro Sectors results are attributed to the combined effort of our agents out in the field, new technology, and the border wall system,” said Acting Chief Patrol Agent Ryan J. Scudder. “Our uniformed personnel will continue to serve honorably and courageously to protect our borders and our communities from any and all who mean to do us harm.”