The Texas Department of Public Safety has arrested nearly 6,000 migrants for criminal offense since late July.
State authorities cannot detain people on immigration charges because that is up to the federal government. But earlier this year, Gov. Greg Abbott ordered DPS to begin detaining immigrants crossing the Rio Grande on charges of raping the state in an attempt to dissuade them from passing.
This is part of a growing law enforcement campaign in the border region Operation Lonely Star.
“We have infrastructure in place. We detain 20 to 30 to 40 a day. There’s no way a local county prison can do that,” said Victor Escalon, DPS South Texas regional director at an event. press.
The governor authorized Dolph Briscoe Unit, a Dilley state prison, to serve as a prison for detainees charged with a criminal offense. The prison may hold about 1,000 people, but arrests have limited the capacity of the site. State soldiers are now pushing immigrants into the Segovia Unity State Prison in Hidalgo County.
Escalon said Thursday that DPS and other state agencies were going to help close the Del Rio port of entry, where there has been a recent influx of migrants from Haiti.
“Before I get here today, my last instructions are that we will close all POEs in Del Rio. That is the plan for now,” he said.
Abbott later issued a statement saying CBP had asked the state to help close six ports of entry, but the Biden administration had reversed the decision. However, according to the Texas Tribune, a The CBP spokesman denied that they had ever given such an order.
However, Abbott announced that he deployed state soldiers and the Texas National Guard to six ports of entry to “maintain their presence at and around ports of entry to deter passages.”
Operation Lone Star has led to an increase in law enforcement presence in border communities, which civil rights activists fear could lead to over-surveillance of local residents.
According to KRGV, there has been an increase in citations for minor charges among drivers in Starr County.
State officials say they have referred more than 66,000 migrants to U.S. customers and border protection since March.
CBP said there were more than 208,000 immigrant crossings in August, and a quarter of those people tried to cross at least once last year.
CBP officials attribute the repeated steps to Title 42, a part of the U.S. code that is rarely used and deals with public health. The Trump administration enacted Title 42 to expel migrants on the pretext of stopping the spread of COVID-19. Former President Donald Trump implemented the measure at the beginning of the pandemic and President Biden continued it.
But on Thursday, in a major victory for civil rights organizations, U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan found that Title 42 policy does not authorize the expulsion of migrant families or the government to deny them. the opportunity to seek asylum. The judge issued a precautionary order that will take effect in 14 days.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an order last month he demanded that the Biden administration restitute Trump’s controversial policy that forced asylum seekers to wait in dangerous conditions in Mexico to spend the day in court.
This story originally appeared on Texas Public Radio. TPR was founded by the community and with its support. If you value your commitment to the highest standards of responsible journalism and are able to do so, please consider doing your support gift today.
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