The immigrants were found inside small houses with no air conditioning, KVEO-TV, Brownsville, Texas., reported Thursday.
"The caller reported they were being held against their will inside the residence and the residence was secured with burglar bars and they couldn't get out and they were asking for help," an officer said.
When officers arrived and cut the chains and padlocks securing the homes, some of the people ran. Most were apprehended with the assistance of helicopters and airborne law enforcement agents.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has said immigrants are often locked in stash houses near the border once they have been smuggled into the United States.