LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Imagine wanting to emigrate to the United States so much you risk your life to do so. U.S. Border Patrol Agents see first hand, cases where those seeking a new life in America, perish as immigrant smugglers leave the weak along the way. An agency video shows graphic pictures of those whose bodies are left in the desert.
Through the use of thermal imaging cameras, U.S. Border Patrol captures video of illegal immigrants trying to cross the border from Mexico into Arizona. The technology allows them to catch many of the people who went undetected before.
The video was played for members of the Kiwanis Club of South Lake Charles by Quang Nguyen--the senior border patrol agent in Lake Charles whom everyone knows as "Q." He says their effectiveness at catching those who try to cross the border has skyrocketed. So, why are they in Lake Charles? "The main reason why we exist here, in Lake Charles, has been alien smuggling interdiction. Alien smuggling interdiction off of Interstate Ten."
He explains the illegal immigrants come from the west on I-10. The video shows how often smugglers have no regard for human safety. Border Patrol is an agency very much involved in national security, so, Q admits, "There's some stuff I can't tell you."
But, he says, a lot of their work now involves intercepting illegal drugs. "In just one year. Over one million pounds of narcotics have been interdicted by United States Border Patrol Agents. And that's just because of the proximity to where we work. We make more arrests for narcotics than any agency in the U.S. Government combined."
Yet he admits a lot gets through. "The profitability for narcotics is so high that the cartels know they can lose nine out of ten and still make a profit."