Just days after President Donald Trump made border security a key plank of his State of the Union address, a tense confrontation between U.S. authorities and Central American migrants is heating up in Texas.
In the border town of Eagle Pass, Texas, officials are anticipating a surge of migrants — and thousands of those aliens may be attempting to enter the United States without permission in the next few days.
“The migrants, about 1,800 of them, are being housed by the Mexican government across the Rio Grande in Piedras Negras,” CNN reported on Friday.
“The Central American immigrants want to come to the United States but US authorities are telling them to stay in Mexico while they wait through the process of seeking asylum,” the outlet continued.
Waiting for their asylum claims to be looked at by already-swamped officials may be the smart choice, but recent events have revealed that many of the migrants have other plans.
In anticipation of a mass rush through the border — similar to what happened near Tijuana not long ago — Texas law enforcement officials are taking no chances.
“In preparation for the migrants’ arrivals, the Republican governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, sent 500 officers from the department of public safety to Eagle Pass,” CNN stated.
Sure enough, photos and video published by that news source and several others show police vehicles lining the banks on the U.S. side of the famous Rio Grande waterway. Border Patrol boats could be seen patrolling the river, which is routinely breached by drug smugglers and illegal immigrants.
“As part of our border security plan, we keep DPS on the border with boats & planes. They work with local & federal authorities to enforce the law,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott posted on Twitter.
“DPS continues to provide direct support to our local, state and federal partners, including the US Border Patrol, to enhance security along the border and to combat drug and human smuggling into Texas and the nation,” the Texas Department of Public Safety echoed.
But Texas isn’t alone. Several hundred U.S. military troops are also headed to the area, according to a Pentagon statement on Wednesday. “They will include military police, medical personnel and engineers tasked with putting up razor wire,” CNN added.
Meanwhile, the swarm of migrants coming north from impoverished Central American nations is beginning to overwhelm Mexican towns.
“We’re at maximum capacity,” Miguel Ángel Riquelme Solís declared in Spanish earlier this week. Solís is the governor of Coahuila, which includes Piedras Negras.
“We will not allow more migrants to travel through Coahuila because the border is overwhelmed, but neither will we invite chaos and therefore they should go to other states,” the governor added, according to El Universal newspaper.
The showdown could prove peaceful, but it could also easily devolve into violence. Clashes between frustrated migrants and border officials in both Mexico and the U.S. have become somewhat common, with the use of tear gas and other crowd control tactics sparking controversy.
One thing is certain: Those on the left who are pretending that there isn’t a crisis seem to be ignoring the reality which officials on both sides of the border are now facing. The problem is very real, and unless we implement solutions soon, it will only escalate.
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