According to Mayor Rolando Salinas, an unprecedented surge of 4,000 illegals crossed the U.S. border with Mexico on Wednesday, September 20 and a separate 2,500-person mob came into the city illegally on Monday, September 18. This is on top of approximately 7,200 illegal crossers that were apprehended in the previous week. Moreover, Rep. Tony Gonzalez, who represents the city in Congress, said that another 3,000 are on track to enter Thursday, adding that the Border Patrol estimates that by Friday, 10,000 migrants will have illegally entered Eagle Pass within the current week.
Salinas said the new mob, many of them from Venezuela, has overrun Mission Border Hope, the only migrant shelter in the border city. "One of the situations is that a lot of these migrants, they're single males and they don't want to listen to instructions and they're leaving the facility," the mayor said. "Not all of these people come in peace."
"We are on pace for this to be the worst of the border crisis yet, and we've seen some doozies," the Republican said. (Related: VIDEO: Migrants cheer aboard packed train rolling toward the U.S.-Mexico border.)
Moreover, he noted that the huge influx is close to 50 percent of the city's 29,000 population and this has already "taken a toll on the local resources, especially our local police force and our fire department." "They are walking around the streets," Salinas said in an interview, describing a situation similar to what the city experienced in 2021. "The hospital is getting swamped also." According to local officials, the sudden swell of "asylum seekers" has been the largest since 15,000 Haitian immigrants camped out under the bridge in neighboring Del Rio, Texas, nearly two years ago.
Eagle Pass has a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) processing facility that can only handle 1,000 people at a time. Many of those who are currently in custody are being held in an overflow facility at one of the two international bridges in the city. "Within a day or two, we should be able to clear out the people under the bridge. But if we get another wave tomorrow, it's Del Rio all over again," he warned. The said predicament has also forced CBP to shut down one of the international bridges to allow the agency to reassign the agents to help process migrants. Salinas further said that the move will cost the local economy $15,000 a day in lost revenue.
Additionally, processing the immigrants could take longer than the usual seven days, the border sources said. Some of them were sent to border facilities at Laredo and El Paso, where there was an increased number of asylum seekers as well.
Meanwhile, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott blamed the federal government for the arrival of large groups in Eagle Pass, saying Border Patrol agents cut razor wire that had been installed along the river by National Guard members operating under his direction. He said in a social media post that he had deployed additional guard members "to repel illegal crossings and install more razor wire."
Texas installed razor wire in Eagle Pass to stop illegal crossings.
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
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) September 20, 2023
All migrants are screened for criminal history or prior illegal entries into the U.S., with those who don't pass muster marked for potential removal rather than being let in, authorities claimed. But what is the standard process if the illegal commits a crime after entering the country?
A 64-year-old Peruvian undocumented immigrant named Roberto Emilio Vasquez-Santamaria, who crossed the border in May, was among those who got detained at Eagle Pass. Maverick County Sheriff's Office confirmed that he was arrested in connection to the homicide of another man in Eagle Pass on September 18, according to a recent Fox News report.
Sources said that Border Patrol processed the migrant after promising, in writing, to appear in court for upcoming proceedings. After signing the notice to appear on its own recognizance (NTA/OR), Vasquez-Santamaria was transferred to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). ICE allegedly released him to a non-government agency (NGO) in Eagle Pass.
Fox also reported that law enforcement has not released any information on the victim and whether he is a U.S. citizen. CBP did not immediately respond to the media portal's request for comment.