BROWNSVILLE, Texas — A Texas Department of Public Safety official told Breitbart Texas that Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol agents took nearly 21,000 Venezuelan migrants into custody during a 12-day period. The spokesman compared the current Venezuelan migrant surge to that of the 2021 Haitian migrant crisis in Del Rio, Texas. During the 2021 crisis, nearly 20,000 Haitian migrants crossed into Del Rio from Mexico during a 17-day period.
DPS spokesman Lt. Chris Olivarez told Breitbart Texas that Rio Grande Valley agents working with DPS troopers and Texas Military Department soldiers took 20,865 migrants into custody during a 12-day period ending on Friday, April 27. Most of these Venezuelan migrants cross the Rio Grande from Mexico in the immediate vicinity of Brownsville, Texas. The current surge of Venezuelan migrants appears to have no end in sight.
In what has become a daily occurrence in this South Texas border city, large groups of migrants continued to cross the border into Brownsville on Saturday. Breitbart observed the activity near the now-defunct Fort Brown Memorial Golf Course and witnessed multiple law enforcement agencies receiving the surrendering migrants continuously throughout the day.
The golf course was permanently closed in 2015 after border wall construction sealed off the course from the surrounding community. It is now the site of a massive influx of mostly Venezuelan migrants. A makeshift camp set up to deal with the steady flow of more than ten thousand migrants this week was bustling with law enforcement agents providing security for the migrants awaiting transportation to Border Patrol processing facilities.
The camp underwent significant improvements during the past week. Over the last several days, local authorities brought in heavy equipment to clear overgrown brush. City of Brownsville Emergency Management vehicles moved about the area as workers added asphalt paving material to unimproved roads around the camp as well. The Brownsville Fire Department staged ambulances at the site in preparation for what could be a significant humanitarian crisis if the volume of large groups of migrants continues crossing into the area.
The scene is reminiscent of the Haitian migrant crisis of 2021 with 19,752 migrants crossing the border from Mexico into the border town of Del Rio, Texas, Lt. Olivarez stated. The surge of Haitian migrants forced Del Rio Sector agents to contain the migrants in a makeshift camp under the Del Rio international bridge, Breitbart Texas reported. Despite promises made to deport the migrants to Haiti by DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Haitian migrants were released into the U.S. interior in large numbers.
The current volume of Venezuelan migrant groups crossing into Brownsville quickly exceeded the capacity of Border Patrol processing facilities in the area. The impact of the migrant surge can also be seen on the downtown streets of Brownsville. Near the city center, migrants can be seen on city sidewalks near the La Plaza Bus Terminal waiting to depart the border city for other parts of the country.
A local charity shelter run by volunteers receives nearly 700 migrants released by the Border Patrol daily and assists the migrants with meeting transportation needs. Not all the migrants have sufficient funds to quickly depart the city. For those migrants, park gazebos and benches provide a resting place as they wait to receive funds from sponsors or family members in the United States.
In response to the surge, Texas DPS and National Guard soldiers assigned to Governor Greg Abbott’s Operation Lone Star deployed to the region to set up a vehicle barrier and attempt to turn back migrants attempting to cross the border from Matamoros, Tamaulipas.
“We are mobilizing additional State Troopers and National Guard to Brownsville to deter illegal entries between the ports of entry,” Olivarez told Breitbart. He added the units will deploy razor-wire barriers to help prevent the crossings. “The goal is to redirect those who are crossing the Rio Grande to the port of entry,” he explained.
“There are thousands waiting to cross,” the DPS spokesman stated.
The Rio Grande Valley Sector reported the apprehension of only 17,958 migrants who crossed the border from Mexico between ports of entry in March, according to the monthly CBP Nationwide Encounters report. The apprehension of nearly 21,000 Venezuelan migrants during a 12-day period indicates the April apprehension numbers will be significantly higher.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.
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.
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