EAGLE PASS, Texas — On Wednesday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued and executive order banning any non-law enforcement entity from transporting migrants on Texas highways due to COVID-19 concerns. The order, according to a source within CBP, has caused at least one nonprofit shelter in West Texas to halt taking in more migrants.
The order is already having an impact on Mission Border Hope, which houses and coordinates transport away from the border. Shelter leaders told Border Patrol they can no longer accept migrants due to the order, according to a source within CBP.
Executive Order No. GA-37 mandates the following;
No person, other than a federal, state, or local law-enforcement official, shall provide ground transportation to a group of migrants who have been detained by CBP for crossing the border illegally or who would have been subject to expulsion under the Title 42 order.
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is directed to stop any vehicle upon reasonable suspicion of a violation of paragraph 1, and to reroute such a vehicle back to its point of origin or a port of entry if a violation is confirmed.
DPS is authorized to impound a vehicle that is being used to transport migrants in violation of paragraph I, or that refuses to be rerouted in violation of paragraph 2.
The source says the order will impact Border Patrol as well, warning that if shelters cannot accept migrants, direct releases onto city streets becomes the only option.
The current border crisis has kept most Border Patrol stations and detention facilities in Texas at or over capacity due to the influx of single adult, family unit, and unaccompanied migrants. In Del Rio, hundreds of mostly Haitian, Venezuelan, and Cuban migrants enter the country daily. Border Patrol relies on Mission Border Hope to receive those migrants once processed and released.
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.