In an effort to address the dire situation at the overcrowded Border Patrol processing facility in Eagle Pass, Texas, the Biden administration has begun the process of relocating approximately 2,000 migrants, according to a source within Customs and Border Protection (CBP). This move comes as a response to the overwhelming strain placed on Border Patrol facilities and a non-government shelter, both struggling to cope with the daily influx of over 1,000 migrants into Eagle Pass.
The surge of migrants, which started about two weeks ago, witnessed more than 1,500 individuals crossing the Rio Grande in a span of just six hours. These migrants had traveled to the border region from southern and central Mexico via freight train. Within days, groups of predominantly Venezuelan migrants, totaling nearly 3,000 individuals, began arriving daily using the same method of travel.
While the pace of these entries has somewhat slowed in recent days, reaching between 1,000 to 1,500 migrants daily at times, the sheer volume has pushed detention numbers to record levels. At its peak, the Border Patrol was detaining over 20,000 migrants nationwide, as confirmed by the CBP source. The “Firefly,” a soft-sided processing facility in Eagle Pass designed to accommodate 1,000 migrant detainees, has been holding nearly five times that number.
Congressman Tony Gonzales (R-TX) recently visited Eagle Pass and provided photos showing hundreds of migrants crammed into the overcrowded facility. During a press conference following his visit, Gonzales emphasized the urgent need for action, stating, “My message is clear – end catch and release, stop using asylum as a hall pass, and put our Border Patrol Agents back on the frontlines.”
Meanwhile, as the transfers of migrants continue, Breitbart Texas reported from the banks of the Rio Grande, where an unrelenting stream of migrants continues to flow into the city. The staggering surge of nearly 20,000 migrants in just two weeks led to the closure of the Eagle Pass International Bridge 1. This closure occurred as personnel from the CBP Office of Field Operations (OFO) were redirected to assist the Border Patrol with migrant processing and security.
The OFO officers, who typically inspect legal travelers engaged in cross-border commerce and legitimate travel, had to be redirected due to the extraordinary circumstances, leading to heightened traffic levels at the Camino Real Port of Entry. This port is the only alternative entrance into Piedras Negras, Mexico, which shares the border with Eagle Pass and has a population of just over 200,000 residents.
This recent spike in migrant entries into Eagle Pass coincided with the end of the 2023 fiscal year, which concluded on September 30. Breitbart Texas reports that the total number of migrant encounters along the southwest border with Mexico for this fiscal year exceeded 2 million. It is important to note that this total does not include migrant encounters along the northern and coastal borders or migrants apprehended at ports of entry across the country.
Additionally, the figures exclude the approximately 1,400 migrants who are granted humanitarian parole by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on a daily basis through land ports of entry, using the CBP-One Application. There is also a daily intake of up to 1,000 migrants, primarily of Haitian, Nicaraguan, and Cuban origin, who are admitted at various airports across the United States to pursue asylum claims.
The situation in Eagle Pass underscores the ongoing challenges facing the Biden administration as it grapples with the complex issue of immigration and border security. With detention facilities stretched to their limits and a continuous inflow of migrants, finding sustainable solutions remains a critical task for policymakers and officials on the ground.
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