The Mayor of Eagle Pass, Texas, Rolando Salinas, has pointed the finger at President Biden for the ongoing border crisis, emphasizing the lack of communication from the White House as thousands of migrants inundate his small city.
Eagle Pass, with its population of 30,000, recently declared a state of emergency as over 5,000 migrants crossed into the city from Piedras Negras, Mexico. Mayor Salinas expressed his frustration, asserting that President Biden bears some responsibility for the crisis, and he has not received any outreach or support from the administration. According to Salinas, “We’re here abandoned. We’re on the border, we’re asking for help. This is unacceptable.”
Salinas praised Texas agencies and Governor Greg Abbott for their responsiveness and assistance in managing the situation, along with federal agencies like Border Patrol. He noted their efforts to control the crisis, but he also expressed disappointment over the thousands of people entering the country without facing any consequences.
Recently, Fox News reported one of the largest observed border crossings in the past two years, with more than 2,200 migrants heading towards Eagle Pass overnight. This number later swelled to around 4,000 individuals waiting to be processed by Border Patrol. Many of these migrants claimed to be arriving from Venezuela, with some mentioning train routes through Mexico. Despite the presence of the Mexican military on the other side of the border, it did not deter the migrants from crossing.
The surge in border crossings has been a growing concern, with over 45,000 migrant encounters reported in just the last five days. Unofficial sources indicate that August witnessed approximately 230,000 migrant encounters, making it the highest for any month in 2023.
For Eagle Pass, the overwhelming number of migrants has forced the shutdown of the local international bridge connecting Mexico and Texas, a significant economic lifeline for the city. The tolls from bridge usage are vital for the local government’s revenue.
The Biden administration previously highlighted a decrease in encounters after ending Title 42 expulsions in May, attributing it partly to expanding “lawful” migration pathways. These included a parole program for up to 30,000 migrants a month from countries like Venezuela, allowing them to enter the U.S. legally. Additionally, migrants can now be paroled into the U.S. at ports of entry through the CBP One app.
Despite these efforts, Mayor Salinas called for the enforcement of existing laws and expressed frustration at the current situation. He urged the government to uphold the rule of law and emphasized that legal immigration should be the norm, as it is for many who have gone through the lengthy and costly process.
As the political debate surrounding immigration rages on, Salinas’s plea echoes the call for a balanced approach to border security and immigration reform, seeking a solution that respects both the law and the rights of those seeking refuge in the United States.