By Yngrid Fuentes
Former Republican Congresswoman Mayra Flores said Saturday on social media that a Border Patrol agent was brutally assaulted by an alleged drug cartel informant. Flores posted on Instagram the image of an agent, with blood on his uniform, and another photo in which the alleged aggressor appears, bloodied and with marks on his forehead that say "rat", in alleged allusion to providing information to the authorities or other criminal groups.
According to Flores, the migrant, whom he did not identify, resisted arrest until the Border Patrol called for reinforcements to subdue him. The former congresswoman said the incident occurred in McAllen, Texas.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection confirmed the incident to Noticias Telemundo. However, he clarified that some of the information circulating about this case is incorrect. Here we explain.
The identity of the agent
Although the image released by Flores cannot recognize the agent's face, some tabloids reported that he was the husband of the former congresswoman. That is false.
Although Flores is married to an agent who works for the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency, the man in the photo is not her husband, the former congresswoman's press team confirmed to Noticias Telemundo.
As for the location of the incident, a CBP spokesperson detailed to Noticias Telemundo through an email that it occurred in Mercedes, Texas, not McAllen, as Flores reported and that the event occurred on September 14.
"At approximately 18:00 p.m. CDT, a Rio Grande Valley agent was assaulted by a migrant while making an arrest in Mercedes, Texas," the CBP spokesperson said. "Both the migrant and the agent were injured. U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Office of Professional Responsibility is reviewing the incident."
Flores' press team explained to Noticias Telemundo that the former Texas representative received the images from a Border Patrol agent under conditions of anonymity.
Migrants travel north on a freight train in Irapuato, Mexico, on Sept. 23, 2023.Associated Press
Apprehensions at the border
On her official social media, the former official said the photos show "the kind of violence" Border Patrol agents suffer "from those who don't want to be apprehended."
"The suspect was found by the Border Patrol near McAllen, Texas," wrote Flores, who was the first Mexican-born woman to hold a seat in the House of Representatives.
In the post, Flores also asks for prayers for the "men and women in uniform."
[Eagle Pass declares state of emergency over spike in border crossings]
The former legislator made the complaint amid a significant increase in the arrival of migrants from Central and South America to different cities along the border between Mexico and the United States, such as Eagle Pass, in Texas, which has declared a state of emergency in the face of the growing number of illegal crossings.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 232,972 migrant apprehensions were made in August. This represents an increase of 27% compared to the month of July, but below the levels of the end of 2022.
And on September 20 alone, 8,940 arrests were recorded at the border, Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, told NBC News, a figure that could go down in the archives as the highest in a day, once immigration authorities finish processing the data.
One of Eagle Pass's international bridges remains closed due to massive migrant arrivals
Sept. 25, 202302:05
The uptick in the number of daily apprehensions breaks the downward trend observed after the end of the immigration policy known as Title 42 and despite the additional consequences imposed by the Joe Biden government on those who cross the border irregularly.
This spike in migrant crossings presents a challenge to the White House's immigration strategy at a time when the president intensifies his re-election campaign and Republicans criticize his handling of border security.
Flores' post ignited the spirits of some users on social networks who called in the comments for stricter security measures at the southern border of the United States and criticized the measures of the White House in the face of the immigration crisis.
The Biden administration has made continuous calls to Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform, a task that for decades, different administrations and congresses led by both Democrats and Republicans have not been able to achieve.