EAGLE PASS, Texas — After a brief slowdown in migrant crossings into the small border town of Eagle Pass, Texas, nearly 1,800 migrants were apprehended between Thursday evening and Friday afternoon, according to a source within CBP. Border Patrol agents assigned to the two stations located in the city responded to multiple large migrant groups crossing into the heart of downtown Eagle Pass and points farther south of the city.
The largest single group of migrants was more than 300 strong and crossed two miles south of the Eagle Pass Camino Real Port of Entry. Breitbart posted near the city’s rail bridge from Mexico and observed multiple smaller groups cross the Rio Grande. The migrants went on to breach the concertina wire near the Camino Real Port of Entry. Nearly 200 migrants accumulated under the bridge and surrendered to the Border Patrol.
After a huge spike in crossings in late September that saw groups as large as 2,400 migrants crossing into the city, resulting in significant national media attention, efforts in Mexico to slow the migrants’ travel to the city brought single-day apprehensions to around 1,000 migrants per day.
The latest incursions are a signal that the efforts in Mexico to keep migrants from using freight trains to reach the U.S. border are failing. According to the source, detention levels at a nearby soft-sided migrant processing facility are nearing 3,000 as the weekend begins. The facility’s capacity is set at 1,000 and is frequently overcrowded due to the volume of migrant crossings in and around Eagle Pass.
During the September migrant crossing spike, the facility reached a peak capacity of 5,000 migrants despite efforts to move the migrants to the Texas Rio Grande Valley, Laredo, and El Paso to reduce the overcrowding. The latest migrant groups to cross into Eagle Pass include mostly Venezuelan, Colombian, and Cuban nationals.
The source says the latest spike is alarming as the water flow in the Rio Grande is higher than normal due to water releases from the nearby Amistad Dam in Del Rio, Texas. The Dam coordinates water releases under a treaty with Mexico managed by the bi-national International Boundary and Water Commission.
A rescue boat manned by Mexico’s National Institute of Migration’s Grupo Beta responded to the largest incursion on Thursday evening to prevent drownings after reports of several migrants being swept away by the currents. Several migrants from the group remain missing due to the swift currents and have not been located, according to the source.
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.