Published May 01, 2013
Fox News Latino, Fox29 San Antonio

Every night, deputies in rural counties try to catch who they can as hundreds of undocumented immigrants are smuggled through South Texas.

As the sun goes down, the day is just beginning for the one Brooks County deputy on patrol.

Things are quiet until darkness sets in and the chaos arrives. Around 8:30 p.m., we're dispatched to a bailout. That's code for a group of undocumented immigrants jumping out of car to avoid being caught.

"How often do you see bailouts?" asked White.

"It happens on a daily basis," said Deputy Moe Saavedra, Brooks County.

This bailout happened just moments ago.

We're off 281 just south of the checkpoint.

A Brooks County deputy told us he saw 20 people jump out of this SUV.

"This is the kinda food they travel with that they pack for the woods," said Deputy Moe Saavedra, Brooks County.

"Right here you can see all the foot tracks where they crossed," said Saavedra.

Everyone got away except this one.

"Were you the driver?" asked White.

"Of course, of course. It's my vehicle," said the man.

"Are you worried about your friends out there in the rough terrain?" asked photographer Nefty Gonzalez.

"I ain't got nothing else to say man," he said.

But he kept talking, "I just gave them a ride. I picked them up at the store but that's about it man."

"Why do you think they left you?" asked White.

"Oh, what I said, it's what I said. I ain't got nothing else to say," he said.

"A lot of times before we can even get the vehicle to a stand still the smuggler's wind up sending messages to the other scouts or other smugglers and by the time we actually get it taken care of, they send messages like that," said Deputy Brett Zable, Brooks County.

While we were on this scene, another bail out happened a few miles up the road.

"The wrecker actually picked up that one and then we called out that Brett had another bailout, so round and round we go," said Saavedra.

At 9 p.m., we head to a third bailout.

This one in apart of the county we were just patrolling an hour ago.

Deputies say the next driver crashed into a fence.

The center console and the backseat were ripped out of the truck, all signs deputies say this car was used for smuggling.

"They said anywhere from 20-25 people... If they stick with the guide or the coyote, if they stick with him, they will normally just lay low through the night and they'll get another vehicle to come in. It's just a waiting game for them," said Saavedra.

Believe it or not, sometimes in the middle of the night they call 9-1-1.

"They are really in distress or they just want to get picked up," said Israel Gonzalez, Brooks County dispatcher.

Israel Gonzalez says there's one call he will always remember.

"We had sometime at the beginning of the year, a lady called her husband had died in her arms," said Gonzalez.

"It's political, nobody wants to come out and say it's not secure down there or up here but the sad reality is, it's not secure," said Chris Cabrera, who sits on the local chapter of National Border Patrol Council.

It's a group that in recent years has been more outspoken about their needs.

Specifically, Cabrera's group wants a processing center that would speed up the intake process and free up agents to go back into the field.

"With so many bodies coming in and the system being so slow; we're just seeing a lopsided ratio of agents inside as opposed to outside," said Cabrera.

Brooks County deputies feel the same way.

"We are real short handed, can't be everywhere at once," said Saavedra.

Especially when there's only one deputy to patrol the entire county.

"You can just imagine if we had a lot more manpower what could be achieved here in this county," said Saavedra.

One of the reasons Brooks County can't hire more deputies is because of their budget.

Since they're not technically a border county, they don't receive the federal funds other counties do.