EAGLE PASS, Texas — Communities all along the southern border are dealing with issues related to the surge that has impacted law enforcement entities and residents as well. Mayor Luis E. Sifuentes expressed the complaints he received from constituents concerning trespassing and other associated crimes.
He described the frustrations and fears expressed by local citizens with the increase in home break-ins and other property crimes. “Everybody is working together to keep our community safe but the smugglers are taking advantage of the situation,” he added.
The cause he cites is the change in policies after the presidential election by reinstating “catch and release.”
“When Washington is allowing for catch and release, it sends the message to other countries. When they’re being released, they are calling their countrymen, they’re saying ‘hey, we made it, come over,’” the mayor added.
Sifuentes expressed his concerns during a round-table discussion hosted by a congressional delegation to Eagle Pass and Del Rio, Texas, on Thursday. Other local community leaders and law enforcement officials expressed similar frustrations at the lack of funding to assist in dealing with what they view as a federal issue.
The delegation included Representatives Jim Banks (R-IN), Tony Gonzales (R-TX), Ashley Hinson (R-IA), Victoria Spartz (R-IN), Lloyd Smucker (R-PA), Chris Jacobs (R-NY), Kevin Hern (R-OK) and Kelly Armstrong (R-ND).
In addition to the round-table discussion, the delegation toured a recently constructed detention and processing facility in Eagle Pass and visited with Border Patrol personnel.
Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.