EAGLE PASS, Texas — Nearly 500 migrants in three separate groups enter the United States to surrender to authorities. On a rainy and cold Saturday morning, the groups forded the Rio Grande and walked more than a mile into the United States to surrender to Border Patrol agents and a Maverick County Sheriff’s Office deputy.
Breitbart Texas observed the migrants crossing the river several miles north of Eagle Pass just after a rain spell in 40-degree temperatures. Most of the migrants were single adult males and females. Mixed into the groups of mostly Cuban nationals were several family units with small children. One group of nearly 100 walked along a busy highway leading from Eagle Pass to Del Rio, Texas.
Breitbart spoke to several of the migrants claiming to be Cuban nationals. The group described the long journey to get to the United States. The family of Cubans say although the journey was harrowing, they are finally glad to be in the United States. The groups slowed traffic on the busy highway significantly as they searched for law enforcement authorities.
In September, one migrant was killed and several others, including a toddler, were critically injured in the same area when a motorist left the roadway striking the group. On Saturday, the limited number of Border Patrol agents and local law enforcement officers available to respond meant the parade of migrants walking along the highway was not escorted by authorities.
Migrant groups crossing the Rio Grande in the hundreds have become an almost daily event in this area. Earlier this month, nearly 800 migrants crossed into Eagle Pass within a few short hours. As temperatures dip into the 30s due to a recent cold front, the migrants began crossing closer to mid-morning as opposed to just before sunrise.
On Tuesday, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas provided testimony before the House of Representatives regarding threats facing the United States. Alongside leadership from the National Counterterrorism Center and the FBI, Mayorkas was directly questioned about security along the southern border.
Republican Representative Dan Bishop asked Mayorkas if he still believes the border is secure. In response, Mayorkas told the congressman “Yes, and we are working day in and day out to enhance its security, congressman.”
The statement comes after Mayorkas’s department experienced record-breaking levels of migrant apprehensions across the southwest border. In fiscal year 2021, more than 1.6 million migrants were apprehended at the border. The yearly total surpassed any other in history for migrant apprehensions.
That record was shattered in 2022 when more than 2.2 million migrants were arrested crossing into the United States within the 9 southwest border sectors. Most of the migrants surrendering to authorities on Saturday are likely to be released according to a source within CBP.
The migrants, mostly Cuban nationals, are not amenable to removal from the country under the CDC’s Title 42 Emergency COVID-19 authority, set to expire on December 21.
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.