PIEDRAS NEGRAS, COAHUILA.- With thousands of people a day pouring into Eagle Pass, Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott said at a news conference on Wednesday, June 29th, in the small border town that the state’s border security operations are expanding.
He made the announcement after sheriff’s deputies in a county further north apprehended human smugglers and dropped them off at the port of entry in Eagle Pass, effectively deporting them.
Abbott said he is expanding Texas Department of Public Safety operations within Operation Lone Star to include new strike teams of 20 troopers each. They’ve already begun targeting semi-trucks and establishing new vehicle checkpoints in order to detect and deter smuggling operations, the governor said.
The Texas Military Department also is deploying more razor wire along the Rio Grande River, adding more miles of fencing and barriers on state and local property, and deploying additional boat teams, he said. Texas is continuing to do the federal government’s job in response to a crisis the president created, Abbott argues.
“The Lone Star State will not sit idly by as the federal government chooses to ignore the historic number of illegal crossings, human smuggling, and drug trafficking of deadly fentanyl from Mexico into the United States,” he said. “Our government has no greater responsibility than to provide public safety to its citizens. Until President Biden decides to uphold immigration laws passed by Congress, the state of Texas will continue utilizing every tool available to secure the border and keep Texans – and Americans – safe.”
The thousands of people daily entering the Eagle Pass region have crossed the Rio Grande River from Piedras Negras in Coahuila, Mexico. The constant flow of people, drugs, and smuggling through their communities, some residents argue, is evidence that the memorandum of understanding Abbott signed with the governor of Coahuila hasn’t stopped illegal crossing or crime.
On April 14, Gov. Abbott signed memorandas of understanding with Coahuila Gov. Miguel Ángel Riquelme Solís and Chihuahua Gov. María Eugenia Campos Galván in Austin. He’s signed four agreements in total. Since then, illegal entry into Texas from these governors’ states has only increased, not decreased, according to federal data.
On Wednesday morning, farther north of Eagle Pass in Kinney County, Sheriff Brad Coe’s deputies engaged in a vehicle pursuit of human smugglers, which ended with the vehicle rolling over. Deputies, due to a range of factors, transported four illegal immigrants to the Eagle Pass Port of Entry and dropped them off in the middle of the international bridge, effectively deporting them. Federal officers staffing the bridge applauded the deputies, retired Border Patrol agent Frank Lopez Jr., who’s running for Congress in the district covering this part of the border, told The Center Square.