Texas border receives resources in response to new migrant surge

Thousands of migrants continued to cross the Rio Grande from Mexico into Texas.

The main push is happening around Eagle Pass with nearly 10,000 crossings along the U.S.-Mexico border in the past 24-hours. 

Thursday, the U.S. Department of Defense announced it's deploying about 800 military personnel to help support border patrol agents, as well as state troopers and Texas National Guard members. 

The deployment of military personnel is for 90 days to help fill gaps.

Border patrol agents are simply being overwhelmed. Officials with the border patrol union stated more than 100,000 migrants have crossed illegally and have been released into the country since the first of September. That’s enough people to fill every seat at DKR stadium in Austin. 

The mayor of Eagle Pass has declared an emergency, and on Sept. 20, the city council voted to allow DPS to make trespassing arrests at a park where migrants have been gathering, rescinding a previous action that had kicked DPS out of the park. 

Many of those in this new migrant surge are from Venezuela. In El Paso, an emergency overflow shelter is being opened which may eventually include a vacant middle school. 

DPS spokesperson Lt. Chris Olivarez spoke to FOX 7 about this crisis on the border.

"It's become challenging for us as a state agency because now we're having to pull resources to support Border Patrol as they process these large groups that are coming across," said Lt. Olivarez.

Lt. Olivarez explained why DPS is not able to push the people back.

"Well, that's one of the misconceptions that people don't really seem to understand, is that it's not that easy to say, 'well, we're going to stand at the river and push people back.' Obviously, we cannot do that, especially with women and children. Now, one thing to understand, of course, is for the viewers that once people cross midway that river, technically they're already in the United States by federal law. Border Patrol has to process them," said Olivarez.


Earlier in the week, video appeared on social media showing Border Patrol agents cutting razor wire placed on the riverbank by DPS. FOX 7 asked Lt. Olivarez to react to the action.

"Well, you know, that's the challenge right there. Of course, when we see images of Border Patrol agents cutting the razor wire that we place as a state to in order to deter illegal border crossing. So that completely undermines what we're trying to do and prevent illegal border crossings. But again, the field agents are doing great work, and we understand that they're getting their orders from their high-ranking officials in Washington," said Olivarez.

The razor wire, cut by border patrol, was replaced Thursday. Troopers have been directed to arrest migrants for trespassing when they can.

"That is an effective deterrent measure, right, where we're able to arrest because it sends a message back to those that are trying to cross unlawfully that if you do cross, you will be arrested by state police," said Olivarez.

Bottom line, it appears DPS cannot stop the surge.

"That's that's the frustrating part, you know, at the state level. We're doing as much as we can, trying to prevent and try to use every tool that we have within our power as a state to try to prevent some of these unlawful crossings and focus on criminal activity that's taking place along the border and also outside around other surrounding areas and border communities," said Olivarez.

An example of that criminal activity was 49 migrants who were found Tuesday locked in the back of a poorly ventilated truck trailer near Laredo. New DPS truck inspections are now being done at key border crossings. 

At least two drownings were reported this week in the Rio Grande. A 3-year-old child Wednesday, and the body of a man was pulled from the river Thursday morning.