Eric Gay / AP
An increase in migration across the US-Mexico border is once again causing problems for federal authorities and local officials in Texas.
Border patrol officials told the Washington Post and The New York Times that thousands of migrants, mostly from Haiti, had crossed the Rio Grande this week. Officers were working quickly to deal with them all, but officials told media there were significant delays.
More than 9,000 migrants were held in a temporary assembly area under the Del Rio International Bridge on Thursday as officers worked to process them all, media said. Authorities believe thousands more are expected to enter the Del Rio community in the coming days.
There was confusion Thursday after Texas Department of Public Safety’s South Texas regional director Victor Escalon and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said the federal government asked agencies to State to help close the port of entry of Del Rio, site of the recent influx of Haitians. migrants.
Abbott said the Biden administration overturned the decision hours later.
But according to the Texas Tribune, a CBP spokesperson denied ever giving such an order.
Abbott ordered the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas National Guard to maintain their presence at and around entry points to deter crossings in the meantime.
Operation Lone Star captures thousands of migrants
Texan authorities have implemented local strategies to deal with what they call the “historic wave” of migration. Abbott called the crush of people trying to enter the United States a “border crisis.”
On Wednesday, US Customs and Border Protection said there was
2% fewer migrant encounters along the southern border in August compared to July. In total, there were 208,887 encounters along the southwest border. Of these, 25% concerned people who had already attempted to make the crossing at least once in the previous year.
John Moore / Getty Images
Operation Lone Star, the state’s controversial new program to crack down on border crossings, enacted by Governor Greg Abbott in March, includes jailing asylum seekers, declaring disaster and building a wall border crossing. This program is independent and sometimes at odds with federal border control efforts.
The Texas Department of Public Safety on Thursday released data on the program’s work from March through September 2. Since the start of the program, officers have made nearly 6,000 arrests of migrants crossing the US-Mexico border.
Migrants arrested by the Texas Department of Public Safety have been charged with criminal trespassing, not immigration-related offenses, as only the federal government has the capacity to bring these charges.
Texas officials also announced on Thursday that they had awarded an $ 11 million contract to build a wall and fence along the Texas-Mexico border.
Critics say some of Operation Lone Star’s measures are unconstitutional.
Abbott has ordered his highway patrol to ban any vehicle – even commercial buses – suspected of carrying unauthorized migrants. Officers also use air, land and sea efforts.
Critics say Operation Lone Star is over
Operation Lone Star has led to an increase in the presence of law enforcement in border communities. Civil rights activists fear this could lead to excessive surveillance of local residents, according to Texas Public Radio.
The Border Report says the deployment of more than 1,000 Texas state troops to the Rio Grande Valley resulted in a large number of traffic tickets in four predominantly Hispanic counties along the border.
John Moore / Getty Images
More than 16% of all citations issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety between March 1 and May 31 were in Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr and Willacy counties on the Texas-Mexico border.
Other reports say an increased presence of public safety officials has led to more frivolous traffic tickets, as more drivers have reported being pulled over for no reason.
In addition to these concerns, an increase in high-speed lawsuits, frequently involving stolen cars carrying undocumented immigrants, has concerned residents of many communities along the border, according to the Washington Post.
Public Security Ministry officials have been implicated in several vehicle chases, according to agency data released this week.
In the Del Rio area, Texas public safety officials report that car chases have increased by 774% through July this year to 236, up from 27 in 2020. In the Laredo area, there are an increase of 86% year on year, with 140 in 2021 against 75 the previous year. Likewise, the Rio Grande Valley has seen a 40% increase in prosecutions, with 163 until July 2021, compared to 116 in 2020.