Texas city declares emergency over migrant crossings

Eagle Pass, Texas, Mayor Rolando Salinas Jr. signed an emergency declaration Tuesday as a result of a purported surge in undocumented immigrants crossing into the city on the southern border. 

In a press release, Salinas said the declaration allows the city to access more resources to help manage the influx of migrants at the border. The emergency declaration lasts seven days, unless it is renewed.

“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,” Salinas said in the press release.  

According to several reports, thousands of migrants are crossing into Texas daily, prompting federal authorities to shut down the international bridge to allow officers to be deployed efficiently to help Border Patrol agents process the influx of migrants, which many reports indicate are from Venezuela and Honduras. 

In a video that appeared to be re-posted by a local journalist covering the border, Salinas narrated a visit to the international bridge as he described what he saw in the video posted Wednesday.

“As you see, this is not normal to have thousands of people down in the international bridges. This presents a lot of problems potentially for our community,” Salinas said in the video.

He said he was accompanied by his chief of police, his fire chief, and other staff members and that they were “on top of the situation.” Salinas said he is hearing that many of the migrants are single males, as opposed to family units, and he claimed some of them have criminal records. 

“We don’t want these people just to be walking our streets. A lot of them do have records and talking to Border Patrol, talking to DPS, there’s no way of confirming who are these people,” he said, adding there are “just so many people.”

“This already has taken a toll on the economy by affecting commercial traffic. But we’re going to everything possible to make sure we maintain the order, maintain peace in Eagle Pass,” he added, in the video. 

The Biden administration announced several steps Wednesday night, in part, to respond to what many are describing as a crisis at the southern border. He extended Temporary Protected Status for Venezuelans who arrived in the United States before July 31, and he announced the Department of Defense was deploying 800 active service members to help border patrol agents. 

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