Local officials speak on concerns about migrant crisis at the border

"The border is secure on the Mexico side, not on the American side," said Sheriff Boyd

VICTORIA COUNTY, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Tuesday a deployment of more agents to the U.S.-Mexico border as an uptick of migrants continues.

Additional facilities have already opened up in Texas to house unaccompanied minors.

Representative Geanie Morrison expressed her concerns.

“Texas does not have the facilities to handle this many minors coming across the border,” said Representative Morrison. “I know the state is trying their best to take care 0f them .. we don’t have the capacity and we were not prepared for this.”

Just in January and February, 11,000 minors crossed the border, said Rep. Morrison. “This is up 60 percent from where it was [before].”

“A lot of these children are unaccompanied,” continued Rep. Morrison. “They have traveled a long-distance and a family is paying a lot for them to get over and these people that get the money from them — they are only interested about money.”

Rep. Morrison said her concern is with the process after the unaccompanied minors come over.

“Where will they end up? This is my concern as a mother, a grandmother and a legislature,” expressed the representative.

According to news release by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, in February 2021, CBP encountered 100,441 persons attempting entry along the Southwest border. This total represented a 28 percent increase over January 2021.

CBP completed 72,113 expulsions from the border pursuant to CDC guidance under Title 42 authority.

The number of encounters at the border has been rising since April 2020 due to ongoing violence, natural disasters, food insecurity, and poverty in the Northern Triangle countries of Central America. As it always has, the number of individuals crossing the border continues to fluctuate and CBP adapts accordingly.

Recently, the Victoria County Sheriff’s Office has reported on several incidents involving undocumented immigrants in the area.

Chief Deputy Will Franklin with the Victoria County Sheriff’s Office issued a list of apprehensions of undocumented immigrant in Victoria County in January and February:

1/23/21

Two undocumented immigrants fled and one was captured for a total of three.

1/26/21

Pursuit involving illegals, vehicle wrecked in Goliad Co., none were apprehended

2/6/21

Four undocumented immigrants, two U.S. Citizens all turned over to Border Patrol.

2/11/21

Five undocumented immigrant, two U.S. Citizens all turned over to Border Patrol.

No other information was specified.

According to the information provided by the Sheriff’s Office, a total of nine undocumented immigrants were captured in January and February.

A pursuit in Goliad County involved undocumented immigrants getting into a wreck, but none were captured.

Goliad County Sheriff Roy Boyd, who has been involved with border security since 2005 said the administration is fully aware of what is going on at the border.

An article published by Vox, stated that the same humanitarian crisis has playing out since at least 2014, when the U.S. saw a dramatic shift in the kinds of migrants who were arriving at the southern border.

“The cartels control the border, border is secure, but the border is secure at the Mexico side,” said the sheriff. “Not on the American side, the cartel ruthlessly run that border, if you notice that those people that are coming across — a lot of them will have a wristband — those are color coded to show who they paid and what raft they are supposed to get on.”

The sheriff said that on the local law enforcement side, just enforce laws, but do not handle immigration process.

Laredo is the closest town to the border near Goliad, said the sheriff.

“Down there at the border, Border Patrol is doing humanitarian effort to try to save these people as they come across,” said Sheriff Boyd. “They don’t want them to come across illegally, they want them to cross legally.”

The sheriff shared that anytime they [local law enforcement]  encounter someone who is undocumented, they contact border patrol and next steps are determined from there.

The closest processing facility to Victoria County is in Corpus Christi.

At last check, Sheriff Roy Boyd was working on gathering information to determine how many apprehensions of undocumented immigrants have been issued in the county.