Electrifying Texas Border

Mar 20, 2024 | APS News

Electrifying Texas Border

Record levels of migration in Texas is straining an immigration system left nearly broken by decades of congressional inaction. With many voters now saying immigration is a top priority. What exactly is happening at the US border to make so many people concerned?

Since the pandemic there has been a spike in global migration. Coinciding with Joe Biden’s presidency. Across the globe, people are fleeing war, political insecurity, violence, poverty, and natural disasters. Many of those in Latin America, in particular, travel to the US in search of safety.

The migrants are coming in rapid amounts, just in December 2023 alone there was 302,000 encounters of migrants making their way into Texas, with the average monthly encounters from 2013 to 2019 was only 39,000, comparing that to the month of December is outrageous.

With Mexican migrants only taking up 30% of the overall compared to a decade ago when they made up 60% just shows how many different countries these migrants are coming from, the collapse of Venezuela, political instability in Haiti, violence in Ecuador, a crackdown in Nicaragua, and other conflicts have fuelled a historic shift in migration pattern.

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Nearly 9,000 people have lost their life in the last decade trying to get into the US, many of these fatalities have occurred along the treacherous stretch of south-western Texas where the Rio Grande River becomes the borderline.

The border crisis itself began in February 2021, just weeks after President Joe Biden took office and rescinded a plethora of Trump-era immigration policies, and the number of illegal immigrants encountered at the southern border topped 100,000 that month alone.

In March 2021, Abbott initiated Operation Lone Star. Deploying over 10,000 troopers and Texas National Guard soldiers to aid federal law enforcement in combating immigrant smuggling along the border. Tensions between Abbott and the Biden administration persisted over addressing the crisis, with illegal immigrant encounters averaging 164,000 to 270,000 monthly since March 2021.

In June 2023, Abbott proposed a 1,000-foot buoy wall in the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass and Piedras Negras, Mexico, aiming to funnel immigrants into areas for military interception. The border situation remains tense, showing no signs of returning to pre-crisis levels below 70,000 encounters per month.

Then in October 2023, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the Biden administration over federal Border Patrol agents’ presence and actions at the border. Paxton claimed that the agents were facilitating the surge of migrants into Eagle. By cutting through circular fences of razor wire that the state had installed in select parts of the border since 2021.

In December 2023, Abbott signed a law that will allow state police to arrest people on immigration charges. An authority that until now was only available to police because immigration violations are dictated by federal law. Not state law. The legal case over razor wire installed in Eagle Pass has been the driving force behind the worsening feud between the Abbott and Biden administrations this month.

On Jan. 10, frustrated with Border Patrol agents cutting the wire to apprehend immigrants. Who would later likely be released into the country, Texas authorities fenced in a 2.5-mile area of Eagle Pass’s riverfront. Then locked out all federal police, including Border Patrol.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has twice sent the state letters demanding that the fence be removed, and federal authorities be allowed back in, but Abbott has shown no sign of caving. Abbott shows no sign of upending Operation Lone Star. Data published by the state each week show it has had a significant impact.

By Jan. 19, the state had intercepted 496,000 illegal immigrants and smugglers who slipped past Border Patrol. With Texas soon able to make arrests independently. Ongoing state-federal lawsuits, and a looming presidential election, tensions heighten. The struggle for agreement with Biden on migrant control intensifies. Texans seek effective solutions, but the cycle repeats: proposed strategies falter, returning them to square one. It’s a stark reminder of mishandled responses and the elusive quest for resolution.

This is where they should have looked a lot more into different solutions and ways to prevent it. Things such as an electric fence which is extremely difficult to get past. Electric fencing is legal in Texas if it complies with the rules and regulations. Which are very easy to do as they are not very complexed rules.

So overall the Texan government should not have jumped to what they thought was the answer to their solution. As it has completely backfired they are without a reasonable and reliable answer to their absolutely massive migration problem.

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