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Small Town of Eagle Pass Becomes Big Part of Border Crisis

Townhall Media/Julio Rosas

EAGLE PASS, Texas — The Rio Grande along this stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border has a few advantages for people looking to cross into the U.S illegally. It has many shallow areas to stave off the risk of being swept away by the river's current, and there are tiny "islands" in the middle that give a good resting spot from the current before the final few yards to the bank. On Monday, I saw those advantages in action as illegal immigrants crossed the river to turn themselves in to Border Patrol. 

The first group of about six was made up of Cubans. As a lone Border Patrol agent was processing them, another group of around ten crossed the river, with people from Ghana and Argentina. Evidence of this being far from an isolated incident was strewn around the riverbank in the form of discarded clothes and trash.

Townhall Media/Julio Rosas 

But even the few advantages the river has doesn't mean it's still not dangerous to cross. 

Toward the evening, it appeared the river's current was especially strong. Two people who wanted to cross into the U.S. appeared to have been taken by the current away from one of the small islands. A National Guardsmen cut his way through the brush in an attempt to track where they would end up. 

Eagle Pass has been one of the busiest areas in the Del Rio Sector during fiscal year 2022, which started in October. The town of Del Rio made headlines in September when thousands of Haitians were forced to camp under the international bridge because Border Patrol had no space available to them. While no longer coming in such large numbers or by Del Rio, the sector continues to see hundreds of people crossing into the U.S. illegally a day. On the Mexican side of the border, police drive by every so often to prevent more people from crossing, but when they eventually leave, more people show up to cross the river. This leaves mostly Texas national guardsmen, deployed under Operation Lone Star, to encounter the illegal immigrants before Border Patrol. 

It's a scene that plays out day after day in the smaller town of Eagle Pass, which once again has seen the town's resources go to confronting the influx of people. A national guardsmen told me they are expecting a lot more people to show up after Title 42 is lifted in late May. Title 42 was used by U.S. law enforcement to quickly expel illegal immigrants to prevent COVID-19 from spreading within holding facilities. But with Title 42 on the way out, law enforcement and national guardsmen are bracing for the expected wave of people in an area already bogged down with daily new arrivals. 

Even in areas where there is barbed wire along the banks of the Rio Grande, the illegal immigrants simply have trampled and put blankets over the barbed wire to easily enter the country. 

Townhall Media/Julio Rosas

Only time will tell how bad Eagle Pass will get hit once the full crossing season is in effect.

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