Law enforcement officials in Eagle Pass, Texas, who deal with massive numbers of illegal immigrants each day, aren’t sympathetic to New York leaders’ complaints about migrant arrivals.
New York City was caring for roughly 60,000 migrants, including 20,000 children, at the end of August, which the Democratic Mayor Eric Adams said will “destroy” the city. Meanwhile, the city of Eagle Pass, which has roughly 28,000 residents, has seen thousands of migrants enter each week, leading the mayor to declare an emergency.
Maverick County Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Roberto De Leon and Constable Joe Mike Beattie, who both operate in Eagle Pass, told the DCNF that Eagle Pass has to deal with an extreme set of circumstances with far fewer resources than New York City.
The southern border in Eagle Pass, Texas pic.twitter.com/d0FzWdAavi
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“We’re all dealing with it and some have the worst case scenario in their community. I know New York … is a big city that can probably handle the load of immigrants going into their city, maybe a little bit better than we are doing right now, because we have them under the bridge,” De Leon said.
In August alone, Border Patrol encountered roughly 181,000 migrants that crossed illegally across the entire southern border.
“As a small department, our resources are strained. The people of this county are the ones feeling the effects of this constant surge. Our response times to service calls have severely diminished, with one deputy assigned to the precinct and others on the riverfront. Where my resources should be. they are not,” Beattie said.
As of Tuesday, Border Patrol’s Del Río sector, which includes Eagle Pass, was 280% over capacity, with more than 2,800 illegal migrants in custody, according to internal agency data exclusively obtained by the DCNF.
As a result, there have been concerns with public safety. The Maverick County Sheriff’s office recently nabbed an illegal immigrant from Peru who was charged in connection to a homicide in Eagle Pass.
“Our families sometimes don’t even go outside anymore, they can’t leave their children outside playing. And I’m not saying every single immigrant has bad intentions, but there are that 1% and that’s what we are dealing with right now,” De Leon said.
Law enforcement chases of smuggling vehicles have also increased from one pursuit per week to at least one per day for just the sheriff’s office, according to De Leon.
“Our community has to deal with that on a daily basis. Driving from home to work now they have to be careful if there’s somebody trying to get away from the police,” De Leon said.
In early September, Adams said New York City would face a 5% budget cut across all programs due to the migrant issue.
Adams deployed flyers to the U.S.-Mexico border in July, warning that the city had run out of room for migrants.
“The cities are not similar by any means. We have a population that is significantly smaller than New York where the resources are more abundant,” Beattie said.
Of all Maverick County residents, 26.2% are impoverished, according to U.S. Census data compiled by Data USA.
“Our single hospital cannot serve everyone. Our first responder personnel are stretched out to the breaking point. Law enforcement has been stretched thin for months now. The people of this town are feeling it,” Beattie said.
“Maybe we should spend a lot more money on not allowing them in the country,” Eagle Pass resident David Jimenez said while playing on the golf course that sits adjacent to the international bridge where hundreds of illegal migrants are processed by Border Patrol.
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