Drones equipped with thermal cameras or night vision capabilities are being used as security “look-outs” by migrants seeking to cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally, In Homeland Security reports.
In one instance, in mid-April, “a Border Patrol agent was monitoring the border at night using an infrared camera when he observed a small airborne object traveling northbound across the international boundary between the U.S. and Mexico border. Officials told KVIA 7 News that the object traveled roughly 100 yards over U.S. territory and then returned to Mexico. This happened three times, and about two minutes after the last return to Mexico, a group of 10 migrants entered the United States illegally in the same area where the drone was spotted.”
There are many different kinds of drones available on the market for both hobbyists and commercial operators, In Homeland Security advises. “Most do not come standard with thermal cameras or night vision capabilities, but even basic hobbyist drones can be modified to include this capability. Many drones can fly several kilometers away from their operators and controllers, and they can achieve speeds of 40 mph or greater.”
Thus the southern border tensions are raised by technologically adept drone operators. Of course, drones are also being used to detect illegal crossings.