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EAGLE PASS, Texas — According to a source within U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has no cohesive enforcement strategy to address the border incursion of more than 2,500 migrants into one Texas border town on Wednesday. The source, not authorized to speak to the media, told – Texas every Border Patrol station in the region is beyond capacity. The only instructions received from DHS is to quickly process and release the mostly Venezuelan migrants who made landfall in Eagle Pass to a non-government shelter.
– Texas posted in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico, on Wednesday morning and watched as the more than 2,500 migrants moved through the city streets headed to the Rio Grande to begin the border crossing. Piedras Negras is the city directly across the border from Eagle Pass, Texas, a city of 30,000 residents. Some migrants carried children on their shoulders and the few belongings they possessed while they moved to surrender to federal and state authorities waiting in Eagle Pass. Many were single adult migrants.
The source told – Texas the recent increase in migrant incursions in Eagle Pass, some 7,000 over the previous 72 hours, has filled a local soft-sided Border Patrol processing facility to more than three times its capacity. The lack of detention space at this facility has forced the movement of the migrants to all other Border Patrol stations in the immediate vicinity, resulting in overcrowding at those locations as well.
At most locations, according to the source, many migrants are detained in outdoor “sally-port” settings used to load and unload migrants from the facility. The source says no plans or instructions from Customs and Border Protection or DHS, their parent agency, were received.
“We got crickets from them while this was going on. We have become well practiced at moving bodies around quickly and moved everyone into place to avoid heat-related health issues,” the source said. “The only instructions we have received thus far is to quickly process and release as many of the migrants as we can to accommodate more expected large crossings.”
On Thursday, a new, larger non-government shelter is slated to open in Eagle Pass, accommodating more migrants released by the Border Patrol to pursue asylum claims within the United States. The new Mission Border Hope shelter, operated by the United Methodist Church, will begin receiving the migrants at their new location and coordinating travel to other parts of the country.
As reported by – Texas, the shelter recently began forcing some migrants out of the facility if they have no funds to complete travel arrangements away from the border region. Those migrants have increasingly appeared on city streets asking residents for help to leave the border city. Some have resorted to walking away from the border city to San Antonio — a journey of more than 150 miles.
The source says word of the releases into the United States is causing the increased border surges.
“This all started here when we began releasing single adults. Once word got out, it just got worse from there,” the source lamented. When it concerns the latest surge of 2,500 migrants on Wednesday, the source says if the mostly Venezuelan migrants have no serious criminal records in the United States, they will be released, and people will be seeing them on the streets soon, not only at the border but in cities across the country.
On Wednesday, shortly after the incursion began, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas issued a statement announcing the extension and redesignation of Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months.
The designation will provide temporary protection from removal and work authorization for Venezuelans who have been present in the United States before July 31, 2023. According to CBP enforcement statistics, that will protect from removal the more than 124,000 Venezuelan migrants who have entered between October and July 31, 2023. In all, the agency expects that the new order will afford protection from removal and work authorization for up to 472,000 nationals of Venezuela in addition to the 242,700 Venezuelan migrants already receiving Temporary Protected Status.
The source told – Texas the approval of protection from removal and work authorizations for the Venezuelans will only serve as a magnet for more to begin the journey to the United States.
“Mayorkas is shooting us in the foot, news travels fast, and if they are willing to give status that may last for years, it’s amnesty, plain and simple, regardless of what we call it,” the source stated.