Texas city declares state of emergency due to influx of migrants
The mayor of Eagle Pass, Texas, signed a declaration of a state of emergency due to the fact that thousands of migrants crossed the city border. The publication told in more detail TPR.
Eagle Pass has become accustomed to a regular flow of immigrants as the city of fewer than 30 people has become one of the most heavily trafficked areas along the U.S.-Mexico border in recent years.
But the number of people crossing the border over the past few days, which the Texas Department of Public Safety says is more than 4000, has overwhelmed local police and city services, according to Mayor Rolando Salinas Jr.
“The emergency declaration gives us the opportunity to request financial resources to provide additional services caused by the influx of illegal immigrants,” Salinas explained in the emergency declaration issued on September 20.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has diverted agents from processing vehicles and railroads along the busy commercial port between Piedras Negras, Mexico, and Eagle Pass to help Border Patrol take migrants into custody.
On the evening of September 20, hundreds of migrants, many of whom were from Venezuela, could be seen waiting under the Eagle Pass-Piedras Negras International Bridge.
“In response to this influx of migrants, we will continue to use all available resources to process them expeditiously and safely,” CBP said in a statement. “We are ready to take maximum measures against those who do not have legal grounds for staying in the United States.”
The city's only shelter could not accommodate all the asylum seekers being released, causing many migrants to take to the city streets.
Eagle Pass is at the center of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's Operation Lone Star border security program, in which Texas Department of Public Safety and National Guard officers arrest migrants on charges of trespassing across state borders.
The multibillion-dollar program has been criticized for violating the rights of asylum seekers and usurping the federal government's authority to enforce immigration laws.
Abbott and US President Joe Biden's administration are currently fighting a legal battle over the spiked buoys Texas installed in Eagle Pass to prevent border crossings, as well as miles of razor wire.
Abbott said on social media that Border Patrol agents, at his direction, cut part of the wire installed by the Department of Public Safety (DPS) on the Rio Grande. The Republican governor said he "immediately dispatched additional Texas National Guard troops to the area to interdict illegal crossings and install additional wire."
Despite efforts by Texas, the United States and Mexico to curb illegal migration, more migrants are arriving at the border as conditions in Central America and Venezuela continue to deteriorate.
The Biden administration announced it would expand Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to the nearly half a million Venezuelans already in the United States. The head of the Department of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, assured that TPS will not apply to recent arrivals.
Such an influx of migrants at the remote port of entry has not been seen since 2021, when more than 16 Haitians converged on the Del Rio port of entry.
Local officials hope the situation in Eagle Pass can be resolved before it has a major impact on commerce.
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The Biden administration has announced it will send up to 800 new troops to the southwest border to allow CBP agents to return to their duties.
Rail service in northern Mexico was briefly suspended this week as migrants were increasingly being transferred to freight trains heading to the US-Mexico border.
Ferromex, Mexico's largest rail operator, briefly suspended 60 of its trains after a series of accidents that it said resulted in "deaths and injuries among immigrants."
The company, owned by Grupo Mexico, expressed its concern about the "significant" presence of migrants in the carriages.
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