Budget cuts have hampered the U.S. Border Patrol's work in its busiest sector on the Southwest border, agents said Friday, with the agency introducing fuel conservation measures in the Rio Grande Valley that have agents patrolling on foot and doubling up in vehicles.
The Rio Grande Valley sector — a stretch of border from Brownsville to Laredo on the southernmost tip of Texas — has become the agency's hottest area along the border. The Border Patrol's arrests of people trying to cross the border illegally jumped 65 percent in that area last year. At the end of May, sector Chief Patrol Agent Rosendo Hinojosa said agents had already made more than 90,000 apprehensions in the first eight months of the fiscal year, a 50 percent increase over the same period last year.
In a prepared statement Friday, the Border Patrol said, "Sequestration continues to have serious impacts on (Customs and Border Protection's) operations including nearly $600 million in cuts." A spokesman declined to address the fuel restraints specifically.
Read More: Fox News