By Jack Phillips
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott shut down six ports of entry with Mexico amid a surge of illegal immigrants trying to cross into the United States in recent months.
“I have directed the Department of Public Safety and the Texas National Guard to surge personnel and vehicles to shut down six points of entry along the southern border to stop these caravans from overrunning our state,” said Abbott, a Republican, in a statement to news outlets on Thursday.
It’s not clear what ports of entry were shuttered by Abbott’s order. He said U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials asked the state to step in and assist them.
Also unclear is how long the closures will last. The Epoch Times has contacted Abbott’s office and CBP for comment.
“The border crisis is so dire that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection is requesting our help as their agents are overwhelmed by the chaos,” Abbott said. “Unlike President [Joe] Biden, the State of Texas remains committed to securing our border and protecting Americans.”
But Dennis Smith, a CBP spokesman, said the agency has received no directive from the federal government to close ports of entry.
“I couldn’t comment on anything the governor said, I don’t have any information on that,” Smith told the Texas Tribune.
However, Texas Department of Public Safety Regional Director Victor Escalon earlier in the day said that all points of entry in Del Rio would be closed due to the large numbers of illegal aliens in the area.
“Six, seven days ago, Del Rio saw 400 migrants sitting, underneath the bridge, the (point of entry) in downtown Del Rio … there’s about 6,000 sitting there right now and more are coming,” Escalon said, according to CNN. “Before I came here today, my last instructions are, we’re going to shut down all the POEs in Del Rio,” he continued.
Images captured by The Epoch Times this week showed thousands of illegal immigrants amassing under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas. A source with the Border Patrol said that about 8,000 illegal aliens, including Haitian, Cuban, and Venezuelan nationals, are in the area.
Val Verde County Sheriff Joe Frank Martinez, meanwhile, said that Border Patrol agents are overwhelmed by the sheer number of illegal immigrants who arrived in the area.
“They just can’t process them fast enough, so there’s a backlog of these individuals underneath the bridge. They’re not detained, they’re just gathered there waiting their turn to get processed,” he told the Tribune.
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