Law enforcement sources report that another port of entry town will be designated as a return center for those migrants who were ordered to remain in Mexico under the Migrant Protection Protocols despite no public announcements on the matter. The Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” program was cancelled by an executive order on President Joe Biden’s first day in office.
This week, the port of entry in Eagle Pass, Texas, will commence receiving the migrants, according to a Breitbart Texas law enforcement source. Initially, Brownsville and El Paso, Texas, plus San Diego, California, were designated as re-entry points for 25,000 asylum applicants.
According to DHS, ports of entry in Hidalgo and Laredo, Texas, are scheduled to begin participating in the return process this week. DHS has made no formal mention of Eagle Pass.
As of February 11, 2021, migrants previously removed under the Trump program began returning to the United States with the assistance of the United Nations. According a United Nations press release, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) are conducting in-person registration and are performing COVID-19 tests for those seeking re-entry.
Border Patrol agents in the Eagle Pass area along with their CBP counterparts are already stretched thin, dealing with an increase in illegal border crossings. According to the source, the administrative load of returning MPP asylum applicants will only detract from an already strained workforce coping with overcrowded facilities.
Describing the program, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said, “President Biden has made clear, the U.S. government is committed to rebuilding a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system … This latest action is another step in our commitment to reform immigration policies that do not align with our nation’s values.”
It is unclear how many migrants will be allowed entry in Eagle Pass, Texas.
A request for comment from CBP remains unanswered as of press time.
Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX