Exclusive: Unstoppable Wave of Migrants in Texas Forces Border Patrol Checkpoint Closures

Checkpoints Closed in Del Rio Sector (Photos: Randy Clark, Bob Price/Breitbart Texas)
Photos: Randy Clark, Bob Price/Breitbart Texas

With no signs of slowing, the latest migrant surge into Texas’ busiest border sector forced the agency to suspend operations at highway checkpoints. Nearly all Border Patrol agents in the Del Rio Border Patrol Sector have been redirected from border enforcement duties to focus on processing, transporting, and providing humanitarian care for more than 7,000 migrants in custody at local facilities and at a temporary outdoor staging site near Eagle Pass, according to a source within CBP.

The source says the order to shut the checkpoints — a critical tier in the agency’s border security strategy — came as more than 5,000 migrants are in local detention facilities designed to hold less than 2,000 migrants. In addition, more than 2,000 migrants are being temporarily detained below the Camino Real International Bridge II in the small border town of Eagle Pass, Texas. Nearby, the city’s only other port of entry serving Piedras Negras and Eagle Pass remains shut due to the migrant surge.

The source, not authorized to speak to the media, says 32,000 migrants crossed into the United States, mostly near Eagle Pass, since the beginning of December. The sector is the second busiest crossing point along the nation’s southwest border. The area is second to the Tucson Border Patrol Sector, which has seen 40,000 crossings this month.

The impacts of the crossings are being felt by local communities that rely on the ports of entry for legal crossings for tourism, shopping, and employment. The highway checkpoints serve as the last line of defense for the Border Patrol to detect human smuggling and other cross-border crimes such as fentanyl smuggling.

As reported by Breitbart Texas, the increase in crossings has frustrated local residents and city leaders concerned about the impact of migrant crossings facing the small town of Eagle Pass. The city’s mayor, Rolando Salinas, took to social media earlier this month to express his frustration with the surge of migrants flooding into his city.

Describing the constant flow of migrants into the city as an immigration disaster, Salinas chided Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas for visiting Uvalde, Texas — a city 60 miles away from the border region — but failing to visit one of the busiest migrant crossing spots in Eagle Pass during the visit.

Migrant crossings have remained at roughly 2,000 per day within the Del Rio Sector. Most of the migrants being encountered in the sector are Venezuelans, Hondurans, and Colombians, according to the source. Most arrive at the border city of Piedras Negras on freight trains and immediately cross the Rio Grande into the neighboring city of Eagle Pass. Law enforcement and military authorities on both sides of the border remain powerless to slow or stop the crossings.

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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