Eagle Pass declares emergency as thousands of migrants cross the border

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Mayor seeks aid and assistance to cope with the influx of migrants

The mayor of Eagle Pass, Texas, Rolando Salinas Jr., has issued an emergency declaration amid an unprecedented surge of migrants arriving to the U.S.-Mexico border. The declaration is set to last seven days unless renewed by the city council.

Salinas said the city has been overwhelmed by the influx of migrants, many of them from Venezuela, who have crossed the border illegally since Sunday. He said the city has received more than 11,000 migrants in the past week, which is close to half of its population of 29,000.

The mayor said the emergency declaration grants the city the ability to request financial resources to provide the additional services caused by the migrant surge. He said the city is committed to the safety and well-being of its local citizens.

Border officials struggle to process and accommodate the migrants

The migrant surge has also strained the capacity of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) processing facility in Eagle Pass, which opened in 2022 with a capacity for 1,000 people. Many of the migrants are being held in an overflow facility at one of the two international bridges in the city.

Salinas said he has been told that another 4,000 to 8,000 migrants are heading to the city in separate groups. He warned that if another wave arrives, it could create a situation similar to Del Rio, where 15,000 Haitian immigrants camped out under a bridge in 2021, resulting in a major humanitarian crisis.

Eagle Pass declares emergency

The mayor also said that CBP has shut down one of the international bridges so they could re-assign the agents who work there to help process migrants. He said this will cost the local economy $15,000 a day in lost revenue.

Migrants seek asylum and better opportunities in the U.S.

The migrants who have crossed into Eagle Pass are mostly from Venezuela, a country that has been suffering from political and economic turmoil for years. Many of them are seeking asylum and better opportunities in the U.S.

Some of the migrants have been staying at Mission Border Hope, the only migrant shelter in Eagle Pass. However, the mayor said that some of them are single males who do not want to listen to instructions and are leaving the facility.

“Not all of these people come in peace,” Salinas said.

Processing the migrants typically takes several days, but could take longer due to the huge influx, border sources said. Some of them are being sent to other border facilities at Laredo and El Paso to be processed, but that creates a ripple effect as they are also dealing with increased numbers of migrants.

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