Eagle Pass, Texas, found itself at the center of a growing border crisis as Mayor Rolando Salinas Jr. declared a state of emergency on Tuesday. The declaration came in response to what local authorities are calling a substantial influx of undocumented immigrants crossing into the city from the southern border.
In a press release, Mayor Salinas explained that this emergency declaration enables the city to access critical resources necessary to manage the increasing flow of migrants at the border.
The declaration, initially in effect for seven days, can be extended if needed.
“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,” Mayor Salinas emphasized in the press release.
Influx of Migrants
Reports from various sources suggest that thousands of migrants are entering Texas daily, prompting federal authorities to take drastic measures.
They temporarily closed an international bridge to enable the deployment of officers who are aiding Border Patrol agents in processing the inflow of migrants, with many believed to be from Venezuela and Honduras.
In a video by a local journalist covering the border situation, Mayor Salinas provided a firsthand account of his visit to the international bridge.
In the video posted Wednesday, he expressed deep concern about the unusual situation unfolding at the border.
Thousands Crossing International Bridge
“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,” Mayor Salinas observed in the video.
He further mentioned that he was accompanied by key city officials, including the chief of police and the fire chief, during his visit to the bridge.
The mayor indicated that they were actively monitoring the situation and the challenges it presented.
Mayor Salinas raised concerns about the composition of the migrant groups, noting that many appeared to be single males rather than family units.
Concerns About Identities and Backgrounds
He also expressed apprehensions about the criminal records of some migrants, asserting that there was no reliable way to confirm the identities of these individuals.
“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 these people are,” he stressed in the video, underlining the magnitude of the situation.
“This already has taken a toll on the economy by affecting commercial traffic. But we’re going to do everything possible to make sure we maintain order, maintain peace in Eagle Pass,” Mayor Salinas concluded in the video.
Biden’s Response and Troops Deployed
In response to what many have described as a crisis at the southern border, the Biden administration announced several measures on Wednesday night.
Among them, the administration extended Temporary Protected Status for Venezuelans who arrived in the United States before July 31.
Additionally, the Department of Defense revealed plans to deploy 800 active-duty service members to assist border patrol agents in managing the situation.
As Eagle Pass grapples with this escalating challenge and local authorities work to ensure the safety of their residents, the nation watches closely as the Biden administration takes steps to address what many are describing as a crisis demanding urgent attention.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / David Peinado Romero
Source: The Hill