EAGLE PASS, Texas — After a brief slowdown on Friday, the Biden administration re-opened the international railway bridge into Eagle Pass, Texas. The move allowed an estimated 1,000 to 1,500 migrants to ride the trains to the U.S.-Mexico border in preparation for crossing into Texas on Saturday.
Breitbart Texas watched as an estimated 1,000 migrants crossed the Rio Grande from Piedras, Negras, Coahuila, into the overrun border town of Eagle Pass. More migrants continued crossing despite the heavy presence of Texas National Guard soldiers along the riverbank and on the river.Randy Clark / Breitbart Texas
Overnight, Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered a convoy of Texas Military Department (TMD) vehicles and soldiers under Operation Lone Star to the border region in response to the massive influx of mostly Venezuelan migrants. Between September 15 and 21, nearly 13,000 migrants crossed from Mexico into the Del Rio Sector. Most of these crossed into the Eagle Pass area of operations.
By Saturday morning, a line of TMD vehicles could be seen poised along the border to deter migrant crossings. Additional Texas National Guard soldiers deployed to the river on small boats to confront migrant crossings.
Guardsmen engaged in a brief standoff in the Rio Grande to try and slow migrant crossings.
In the past week, the Eagle Pass area has become one of the busiest crossing point along the southwest border.
On Thursday, the Biden administration’s response to the surge was to shut down legal border crossings at a port of entry in Eagle Pass and the second busiest international railway crossing bridge in Texas, Breitbart reported. The effort was not to shut down illegal river crossings but rather to bring additional resources to process migrants to be released into the United States more quickly.
CBP issued a brief statement on Wednesday addressing the facility closures:
Beginning this afternoon, CBP’s Office of Field Operations will temporarily suspend vehicle processing operations at Bridge 1 and the international railway crossing bridge in Eagle Pass, Texas in order to redirect personnel to assist the U.S. Border Patrol with taking migrants into custody. In response to this influx in encounters, we will continue to surge all available resources to expeditiously and safely process migrants. We will maximize consequences against those without a legal basis to remain in the United States. CBP will continue to prioritize our border security mission as necessary in response to this evolving situation.
Governor Abbott ordered the Texas Division of Emergency Management to send more buses to Eagle Pass and El Paso to take some of the migrants being released into the border towns and transport them to sanctuary cities across the country.
I directed @TDEM to deploy more buses to Eagle Pass & El Paso amid the migrant surge.
Texas border towns should not have to shoulder the burden of Biden’s open border policies.
Texas will continue to send buses to sanctuary cities to provide relief to overrun border towns. pic.twitter.com/bsFEfCzCEY
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) September 22, 2023
By mid-morning, Breitbart observed Border Patrol agents detaining large numbers of migrants under the El Camino Internation Bridge while they awaited busing to processing centers.
Migrant crossings continued throughout the morning as Texas National Guard soldiers escorted them to the Border Patrol rally point.
While walking the border with migrants, Breitbart Texas found a discarded “goodie bag” provided to the migrants traveling through Mexico by the United Nations. It is not known what contents are provided.
During August, nearly 30,000 migrants crossed the border into the Del Rio Sector. According to unofficial Border Patrol reports reviewed by Breitbart Texas, nearly 29,000 crossed in the first three weeks of September.
The September numbers in the unofficial reports are believed to be low as Border Patrol officials moved many migrants to other sectors before processing them into the count. It is believed the numbers will be adjusted to reflect the actual Del Rio Sector apprehensions when the official Southwest Land Border Encounters Report is released late in October.
The October report is usually reported later in the month because it is the year-end report for the fiscal year. The report is expected to show the apprehension of more than 2,000,000 migrants for the second consecutive year. In FY22, agents encountered more than 2.2 million migrants along the southwest border.
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.