EAGLE PASS, Texas — Border Patrol agents rushed to respond to several large groups of migrants early Tuesday. Migrants made landfall just south of the city in a steady stream to surrender. A subgroup of more than 100 people was made up mainly of Cubans.
Border Patrol agents arrested the group of mostly adult men and began gathering basic biographical information and personal property inventories. Several Border Patrol trucks brought other migrants onto a road from the riverbank. Some migrant women carried infants and young children.
According to a Customs and Border Protection source, the flow of migrants just south of the city has steadily increased since the announcement of the end of the CDC 42 emergency title deportation authority. The CDC announced on April 1 that the emergency order will expire on May 23. As news of the end of the program spreads, the source says the increase in migrant crossings is expected to increase.
The source says the total number of daily arrests is between 6,000 and 8,000 migrants a day across the southwestern border – a figure that could quickly double. Even at the current rate, Border Patrol facilities are overcrowded.
The latest increase in migrant smuggling has led to a decrease in routine patrols on the ground. Processing, transporting and providing humanitarian care to large groups of migrants has taxed the Border Patrol workforce as on some days only transport vans operate in certain areas.
On days when field patrols are suspended or reduced, much of the burden of border security is left to state and local law enforcement or the Texas Army National Guard.
Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief of Law Enforcement Operations, directing the operations of nine Border Patrol posts in the Del Rio, Texas area. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.