Police arrest more illegal aliens

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 9, 2000

The grand total of illegal aliens arrested by local law enforcement this spring rose to 31 on Sunday, after 11 Hispanic men were captured following a traffic stop.

At around 6:48 a.m. Sunday, an officer with the Natchez Police Department noticed a van that did not have a tag on it, said Natchez Police Chief Willie Huff.

The officer stopped the vehicle in the vicinity of 55 Seargent S. Prentiss Drive and discovered the 11 men inside. They did not have any identification and were arrested.

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During booking, most of the suspects claimed to reside in Houston, Texas, but also told police they were born in Mexico.

Except for accidentally stumbling across illegal aliens crossing Adams County, local law enforcement officers do not have ways to catch them, Huff said.

And the number crossing the county is also difficult to determine.

&uot;There’s no telling how many are coming through that aren’t getting caught,&uot;&160;Huff said.

On February 28, the Natchez Police Department arrested 17 illegal aliens after pulling over a van with darkly tented windows on U.S. 61 North.

And on March 4, the Adams County Sheriff’s Department arrested two illegal aliens, after their vehicle was spotted on U.S. 84 near Palestine Road because it was having mechanical problems.

Another illegal alien, who told Natchez Police he worked at The Wok, in Natchez, was arrested March 12, after being involved in a traffic accident.

&uot;It’s sad that these countries (south of the United States) are in such an economic state, its such an incentive to come here,&uot; Huff said.

Police think the recent arrests may be a result of the spring planting season and migrant workers. Also, since the Border Patrol tends to put more pressure on major highways, immigrants may opt to take rural routes and pass through places like Natchez, Huff said.

As in all arrests of this type, the Natchez Police Department contacted the Border Patrol in Baton Rouge, La., Sunday about the recent arrests. An immigration officer came to pick up the 11 aliens and take them back to Baton Rouge, Huff said.