20 CALF News • February | March 2022 • By Burt Rutherford Contributing Editor Editor’s Note: The Dec. 2021/Jan. 2022 CALF News featured Part 1 of the situation on the U.S.-Mexico border. It has reached crisis proportions. “I USE THE WORD INVASION.” That’s how Brad Coe, sheriff of Kinney County, Texas, describes the situation on the Texas-Mexico border. Indeed, his description of the border crisis an invasion is backed up by the numbers. In 2021, just in his county alone, Coe, his six deputies, troopers from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and U.S. Border Patrol officers apprehended approximately 3,000 people, “since this all began back in the May-June timeframe,” he says. In total, it’s estimated that more than 2 million people crossed the southern border last year. “That’s what we’re catching. What’s getting away? We’re not catching 100 percent. There’s no way. So to me, it’s an invasion.” Illegal immigration across the TexasMexico border has been ongoing for more than 100 years. Until recently, however, it was people, usually young men, coming to America in search of better jobs. Generally, these undocumented workers would send money back home to their families in Mexico. It’s different now, Coe says. They’re still catching immigrants. But now, with the Mexican cartels in firm control of the border, those immigrants pay thousands of dollars to be smuggled across. From those, it’s all the way up to MS-13 and other gang bangers, Coe says. What’s the breakdown between human trafficking and hard-core criminals? “That’s a really hard call to say,” Coe responds,“because it goes hand-in-hand.” The smugglers will bring a group of people across in an area where they know they’ll be apprehended. “That takes all the resources away from the border because you’ve got to process and transport those people,” he says. “While that’s going on, they’re moving their dope further down river or up river, and there’s nobody there to intercept it.” Of course, money is at the root of this evil. “The last stats I had for the smuggling operations in our area, the organizations are making between $25 to $30 million a week,” he says. “And there’s no way we can compete with that. They’ve got unlimited funds and we’re strapped by what we can afford here within the county.” Taking a Stand Monica Deller, founder and CEO of Trauma to Triumph Ministries (, lives a mile from the Rio Grande River and the Texas-Mexico border. She sees firsthand those who are crossing the property. “Human trafficking definitely has gotten worse,” she says. “They’re not migrants. There are some harmless ones who come through who are looking for a better life. But all that we’re seeing are the bad dudes.” Late last year, more than 200 people were intercepted a half-mile from her house. “We’ve had 14 at a time in our yard. I’ve had them try to push through the door.” Often, the groups of people being trafficked are preceded by armed cartel gang members who show up on doorsteps and try to enter homes. While burglary may be one motive, the real reason these armed men are present is to intimidate ranchers and other landowners on the Texas side of the border. “They’re just an extension of the criminal organizations that are pushing them [human trafficking victims] through. They’re trying to intimidate people not to call when they see people trespassing across their property,” Coe says. Trauma to Triumph Ministries is a 501c3 organization that focuses on the most heinous aspect of human trafficking across the Texas-Mexico border – the child sex slave trade. Deller’s ultimate goal is to purchase a property in South Texas that can be a place where these young victims can go to be healed physically, mentally and spiritually. Over the years, Deller has fostered more than 70 children and teenagers and knows firsthand the trauma that many have suffered. Thinking of the victims of the child sex slave trade, she says, “People The Texas-Mexico Border in Crisis Families intercepted at the U.S.-Mexico border can’t be divided or returned to Mexico by the U.S. Border Patrol. Some groups will take advantage of this by claiming they’re all cousins. Photo courtesy Sheena Rodriguez PART 2