‘Listen to us’: Eagle Pass business owner frustrated over concerns going unheard by Texas leaders

GOP Congressional Delegation to tour border in Eagle Pass Monday

Eagle Pass, TEXAS – Title 42 is set to expire in less than a month. The Biden Administration announced it will end the directive on May 23, even though some leaders in Texas oppose the move.

A GOP Congressional Delegation led by Congressman Tony Gonzáles and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy will tour the border on Monday and meet with residents in Eagle Pass affected by the daily flow of undocumented immigrants crossing the border. However, Eddie Sánchez, a small business owner in Eagle Pass, just a few feet away from the Río Grande wonders why his voice has not been included in the conversation.

“Listen to us,” Sánchez said. “We’re here, we’re right here, literally.”

Sánchez is the owner of Kumo Fitness, a busy gym that sits about 100 yards away from the Eagle Pass-Piedras Negras border.

“Literally, if you look back there, sometimes you see them walking by, you know what I mean?” Sánchez said. “Sometimes they’ll hide behind this building here, and it’s kind of scary, you know.”

Although Operation Lone Star has deployed a large number of military personnel and placed shipment containers along the Eagle Pass border, Sánchez said it has not been successful in putting a stop to illegal crossings witnessed daily.

“It hasn’t gotten to a point where you can say it’s back to the old days where they used to send everybody back,” Sánchez said. “It must be because whoever is bringing them over already knows the routes.”

According to Customs and Border Protection, encounters in the Del Rio sector, which includes Eagle Pass, last month more than doubled those of March 2021.

Sánchez wants the situation to improve, however, he said it can’t be done without the voice of those who live on the border. Sánchez said no elected official that represents his district or visits the border has ever reached out to him.

“No, I don’t think that’s fair,” Sánchez said. “Their decisions up in the White House or whoever makes them, it’s affecting me directly, and I don’t think they’re taking my point of view into consideration.”

Sánchez wants congressional leaders to include him in the conversation, and for all parties to work together to fix what he considers to be a broken immigration system.

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About the Authors:

Alicia Barrera is a KSAT 12 News reporter and anchor. She is also a co-host of the streaming show KSAT News Now. Alicia is a first-generation Mexican-American, fluent in both Spanish and English with a bachelor's degree from Our Lady of the Lake University. She enjoys reading books, traveling solo across Mexico and spending time with family.