Texas Attorney General tours Del Rio border, praises law enforcement agents

Border Report Tour

Border Patrol agents and members of the National Guard rest outside of a checkpoint entry near the Del Rio International Bridge on September 22, 2021 in Del Rio, Texas. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton toured the border in Del Rio on Tuesday and admonished the Biden administration, saying it is not doing enough to help law enforcement agents and the border community in this remote region.

During a press conference on Tuesday afternoon held in Del Rio, Paxton said he met with local leaders, Border Patrol agents, state troopers, ranch and business owners and local residents to better understand what is happening on this remote stretch of the Texas/Mexico border where 15,000 migrants, mostly Haitians, last month attempted to cross and claim asylum in the United States.

“We’re all united in hoping and praying that our government can stem the tide and stop doing what they’re doing, which is allowing this massive illegal immigration,” Paxton said.

He said they also met with National Guard who are currently sending more supplies and manpower to build a temporary fence in the Del Rio area.

Hundreds of landowners have donated access to their riverbank lands for construction of the 9-to-10-foot tall wire fence that is being put up and paid with state funds appropriated by the Texas Legislature.

Paxton also promised his administration, which is led by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, would be filing more lawsuits against the Biden administration to force more policies that he says are necessary to stop illegal immigration on the Southwest border.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and nine other governors came to Mission, Texas, on the South Texas border on Oct. 6, 2021, to tour the region. (Sandra Sanchez/Border Report)

Texas has filed a lawsuit along with Missouri to force the re-implementation of the Migrant Protection Protocols Program, also known as MPP or remain-in-Mexico. On Aug. 24 the U.S. Supreme Court did not block a lower federal court’s order to reimplement the program.

During a visit to the South Texas border last week along with nine other governors, Abbott criticized the Biden administration for failing to reinstate MPP, which he said is “a proven deterrent to stop illegal crossings.”

“We need to have more of these visits from these official state representatives so they can see what’s going on and have a better perspective on what’s taking place on the border to provide more resources to help our communities,” Lt. Chris Olivarez of the Texas Department of Public Safety said Tuesday in Del Rio.

Olivarez said the 1,000 state troopers and National Guard units stationed on the border — most in the Del Rio region — have made over 1,200 arrests through Operation Lone Star since January. He said migrants are being charged with criminal trespass and processed in Val Verde County, with the help of sheriff’s department, and then being sent to Dilley, Texas, for holding.

About 15,000 Haitians crossed the Rio Grande from Acuña, Mexico, and were in Del Rio, Texas, as seen from atop the international bridge on Sept. 17, 2021. (Sandra Sanchez/Border Report File Photo)

“We have troopers working on the ground in the ranches and in train yards assisting ranchers with some of these migrants who are coming across. We are arresting these indiv iduals who are avoiding detection,” Olivarez said.

Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin said that his city of 15,000 located 70 miles east of Del Rio and further inland from the border, is seeing many “got-aways” and “walk arounds,” his terms for migrants who avoided apprehension on the border.

Police in Uvalde, Texas, are seen on June 11, 2021, arresting a group of migrants who were hidden in a vehicle that was stopped at a gas station. (Sandra Sanchez/Border Report File Photo)

McLaughlin said arrests at their train station are between 10 to 100 people per day and he said “some of those people on those trains are bad people. They’re murderers, pedophiles, they’re rapists. This goes on every day, seven days a week in Uvalde.”

Val Verde Sheriff Joe Frank Martinez warned other border communities and states that unless partnerships are forged between federal, state and local law enforcement, and more forces ramped up, then caravans en route from South America will penetrate more border communities in the upcoming weeks.

“I hope that what we experienced here nobody else does but I can guarantee you it’s coming and some other community will be faced with what we experienced here three to four weeks ago,” Martinez said.

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