WESLACO, Texas — A recap of how authorities handled the major recent surge in migrants at the border in Del Rio was provided at a news conference Thursday morning.
The briefing was by the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Military Department in Weslaco at the DPS office there.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection had temporarily closed the Del Rio Port of Entry on September 17 and rerouted traffic to Eagle Pass Port of Entry after thousands of Haitian migrants showed up under the international bridge. According to some estimates, the crowd included more than 14,000 people. Many were flown back to Haiti, while others were released in the U.S.
In Thursday's press conference, DPS officials discussed how troopers were able to assist with the massive crowd of migrants. They said there were more than 40 buses a day were brought in to relocate the people. Officials said there were more than 2,000 federal, state and local agencies that assisted in the operation. The Texas Military Department (TMD) also gave an update at the news conference, saying more than 400 soldiers were provided for the operation.
Authorities told KENS 5, "We have apprehended over 2,000 individuals crossing the border illegally just this last week. Additionally, we have an almost 200 turn backs, which is illegal smuggling activity that returned back to Mexico, and were unable to cross."
DPS also said it was working with TMD on temporary border barriers and fencing they are coordinating with Texas Governor Greg Abbott. TMD says there are currently three miles of barrier and one team of engineers, and officials say they are hoping to grow to 12 teams. The organization said they are focusing on Val Verde County, Maverick County and Kinney County, but hope to expand to other border counties. The fencing is about 10-feet high using chain link-style materials.