EAGLE PASS, Texas – The Biden administration said it will send 800 active-duty military personnel to the border to supplement the 2,500 National Guardsmen deployed to help U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The surge will help CBP agents and officers return to their core responsibility, according to the White House.
Additionally, the administration granted temporary legal status to hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans who are already in the U.S., which will quickly make them eligible to hold jobs.
Eagle Pass mayor issues emergency declaration amid influx
In another development Wednesday, Eagle Pass Mayor Rolando Salinas Jr. issued an emergency declaration due to the influx of migrant crossings earlier in the day.
The declaration is set to last seven days unless renewed by the Eagle Pass City Council.
The emergency order activates the city’s Texas Emergency Plan and authorizes it to seek aid and assistance.
“The City of Eagle Pass is committed to the safety and well-being of our local citizens. The emergency declaration grants us the ability to request financial resources to provide the additional services caused by the influx of the undocumented immigrants,” said Salinas.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued the following statement:
“Beginning this afternoon, CBP’s Office of Field Operations will temporarily suspend vehicle processing operations at Bridge 1 and the international railway crossing bridge in Eagle Pass, Texas in order to redirect personnel to assist the U.S. Border Patrol with taking migrants into custody. In response to this influx in encounters, we will continue to surge all available resources to expeditiously and safely process migrants. We will maximize consequences against those without a legal basis to remain in the United States. CBP will continue to prioritize our border security mission as necessary in response to this evolving situation.”
Gov. Abbott shares video of razor wire cut, removed
A video posted by Gov. Greg Abbott on his social media account Wednesday showed razor wire that he ordered installed along the banks of the Rio Grande River in Eagle Pass cut and removed.
The video on X, formerly known as Twitter, showed who appeared to be US Customs and Border Protection agents cutting the wire and then pulling it away with rope.
Shortly after the removal, several immigrants could be seen walking out of the river.
“I immediately deployed more Texas National Guard to repel illegal crossings & install more razor wire,” Abbott said in his post.
Texas installed razor wire in Eagle Pass to stop illegal crossings.— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) September 20, 2023
Today the Biden Admin CUT that wire, opening the floodgates to illegal immigrants.
I immediately deployed more Texas National Guard to repel illegal crossings & install more razor wire. pic.twitter.com/eMtLS8Z6WI