EAGLE PASS, Texas — On Wednesday morning, Texas Department of Public Safety Troopers and visiting state law enforcement officers were largely left to patrol the border and detain migrants without federal assistance. The troopers, from Texas and Florida, were the only law enforcement entities observed in the area.
Breitbart Texas visited the busiest crossing points along a 10-mile stretch of border and witnessed Texas and Florida authorities performing duties almost exclusively reserved to the Border Patrol. The troopers are deployed as part of Operation Lone Star. They were seen searching for migrants at the city’s northern rail yard.
The troopers removed nearly a dozen migrants from one portion of a freight train. Several troopers waited for a Border Patrol transport van as others continued to search the yard. Migrants in this area are not seeking to surrender and instead rely on rail to quickly clear the border area.
Several miles away, Florida state authorities detained a group of migrant families illegally crossing into the United States on the banks of the Rio Grande. This group crossed into the densely populated downtown area near the municipal golf course. The Border Patrol usually maintains a heavy presence here to deter illegal crossings. On this occasion, there were no federal agents in sight.
At the same time, Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigative Agents detained 10 migrants along a roadway just south of the city. This area will soon see a border wall erected under a plan by Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
A source within Border Patrol, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told Breitbart Texas there are no agents assigned to patrol duties due to the recent increase in illegal crossings and the surge in the number of migrants requiring detention. The source says agents are only assigned to processing, transport, and highway checkpoint tasks.
An official with DPS in the area told Breitbart Texas the Border Patrol advised the troopers to expect extended wait times for transport due to the overcrowding of facilities.
In a recent letter to Governor Abbott, United States Attorney General Merrick Garland argued that “Texas has no authority to interfere with the United States’ broad, un-doubted power over the subject of immigration.” The letter from Garland protested Abbott’s temporarily blocked executive order prohibiting released migrants from being transported by ground on Texas highways.
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.