MCALLEN, Texas — Working border security is no easy task, especially if you work in McAllen.
"McAllen is the busiest of all the stations," said BP agent Greg Aldaya ."We still get 700 to 900 people a day in the area."
Border security remains a hot-button issue for most Texas voters, which is why KHOU 11 spent Friday morning, just hours before the gubernatorial debate, riding along with Border Patrol, getting an up-close look at what's happening in the Rio Grande Valley.
Aldaya says the McAllen station accounts for 60% of all apprehensions in the RGV.
During the ride along, spotters using high-tech camera towers spotted movement in the brush.
"The bodies that I saw were in the ditch," someone could be heard saying on scanner traffic.
Agents and soldiers went to the area of the movement and found at least four migrants who entered the U.S. illegally. on the field where they'd been spotted.
"This many people, they're probably not going to run," said Aldaya.
Catching illegal migrants takes manpower and time, KHOU 11 observed.
There are always clues left behind.
Dogs are brought in to track a scent. When that doesn't work, border patrol agents call for aerial backup. A helicopter with infrared cameras quickly surveyed the area. It didn't take long for them to spot the migrants hiding in the field.
They found three men and one woman, all adults traveling alone. Two were from El Salvador and two were from Mexico. Some had been traveling for two months to get to this point.
One man told KHOU 11 they don't make a lot of money in Mexico and come over to the U.S. for a better life.
They all have different reasons for coming. Some hope to join family already here. Others are fleeing violence back home.
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Another man told KHOU 11 that his life was threatened by gangs so he made the tough decision to make the journey to the states.
They each described a difficult journey and said it's scary to get caught, but worth the risk.
Where they'll end up now still needs to be sorted out.
"Now we have a lot of people trying to come regardless if they're seeking asylum or not, the numbers are incredible," said Mayor Javier Villalobos.
What was witnessed in the RGV is happening up and down the border, but McAllen's Republican Mayor Javier Villalobos said the situation in McAllen is better than it was a year ago as immigration patterns now shift north to hard-hit Eagle Pass in the Del Rio Sector.
For the first time ever, CBP apprehended more than two million migrants at the southern border this fiscal year. It's why Republican leaders like Governor Abbott have started busing migrants to other cities, something Villalobos and a majority of Texans support for now.
"People say border security, I say national security," said Villalobos. "That's something that concerns us not just here but should concern the whole country."