DEL RIO, Texas — A law enforcement source, speaking on a condition of anonymity, reported the illegal local entry of 167 Venezuelan nationals early Friday morning. The group, consisting of mostly of family units, was quickly apprehended by Border Patrol and transported to nearby stations for processing.
Del Rio, like other cities across the southern border, has seen its fair share of the increase in migrant traffic. A soft-sided facility was recently opened within the immediate sector to deal with the influx. Del Rio has dealt with large groups of migrants from outside the typical Central American countries.
Because of the relative safety of Ciudad Acuna, directly across from Del Rio, the area is a draw for groups of Haitians, Cubans, and Central Africans. Cartel violence has slowed in recent years compared to other cities in Mexico along the border.
Last month, the Biden Administration granted Temporary Protected Status for Venezuelan nationals for 18 months. The designation applies to those residing in the United States since March 8, 2021. The designation suspends any attempts at removal for the period. Generally, these deadlines are extended–sometimes for years on end. Some critics argue this is a pull factor, encouraging illegal immigration from designated countries.
This group will more than likely be released into the United States to pursue asylum claims even though they would not qualify for the TPS designation.
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.