DEL RIO, Texas — A law enforcement source, speaking on a condition of anonymity, reported the illegal entry of 106 Venezuelan nationals early Monday. The group, consisting mostly of family units, was quickly apprehended by Border Patrol and transported to nearby stations for processing.
On Friday, Border Patrol agents apprehended 167 Venezuelans in the same area. On Sunday, an additional 112 made entry. The source indicates of the 107 migrants that entered illegally this morning, 106 are Venezuelan nationals and one is Colombian. Nearly 400 Venezuelans have entered in the last four days.
Del Rio, like other cities across the southern border, has seen its share of the increase in migrant traffic. A soft-sided facility was recently opened within the Del Rio Border Patrol Sector to deal with the influx. Del Rio has dealt with large groups of illegal migrants from outside the usual Central American countries normally encountered throughout other border areas.
Because of the relative safety of Ciudad Acuna, directly across from Del Rio, the area is a draw for large groups of Haitians, Cubans, and Central Africans.
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.
According to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, “The living conditions in Venezuela reveal a country in turmoil, unable to protect its own citizens, it is in times of extraordinary and temporary circumstances like these that the United States steps forward to support eligible Venezuelan nationals already present here, while their home country seeks to right itself out of the current crises.”
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.