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Migrants at the Texas border look for a green-uniform agents so they can get into the country easily

The number of encounters with migrants at some sectors at the Texas border has significantly decreased in recent weeks, but the state, with the help of other Republican-led states, still has a hard time protecting the border from the influx of migrants. Meanwhile, a growing number of migrants try to get into the country through California and Arizona. California’s southern cities are now the most exposed, as they feel the pressure of thousands of migrants entering the state, causing financial difficulties.

Avoiding Texas

As part of Operation Lone Star, a state-run initiative by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Texas improved border security by implementing various, sometimes controversial, measures. With thousands of state troops monitoring the border, the ongoing construction of the border wall, and the installation of hundreds of miles of razor wire in recent months, illegal border crossings in Texas have become significantly more challenging. This is the reason why thousands of migrants now choose California as their entry point, where they can get into the country much easier.

Looking for federal agents

According to recent reports, migrants at the Texas border are now using another tactic to bypass Texas state troops and enter the United States. This new trend was explained by Texas Department of Public Safety official Lt. Chris Olivarez. He said that migrants actively seek to be taken in by federal border patrol agents because they know that they will be more lenient than Texas state guards and that the whole process of entering the country will be much easier. This pushes Texas to deploy more troops to further secure the border.

Different measures

Lt. Chris Olivarez of the Texas Department of Public Safety discussed the migrant situation in Eagle Pass, a central location in the migration crisis, with Dr. Phil, who had traveled there to talk with local authorities about the ongoing issues. Dr. Phil explored the contrasts in approach between the federal government, which mandates that Border Patrol process migrants, and Texas’ own efforts to halt the flow of mass migration.

Read also: Huge blow for Biden, Dems in Texas: Trump has double-digit lead among Hispanic voters

Migrants seek to be taken in by federal border patrol agents because they know that they will be more lenient than Texas state guards
Texas troops installing razor wire, monitoring the border, credit: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, X official

Texas troops handling migrants

Olivarez explained that when Texas border security catches migrants for criminal trespass, they are treated like any other law violators, processed through Texas’ legal and jail systems, and eventually handed over to ICE for deportation proceedings.

“That’s our stance as a state,” he said. “It’s another deterrent measure, so they try to avoid us, they avoid us at all costs and that’s why some of the numbers here have decreased because of that, and because of the National Guard as well.”

Dr. Phil pondered the migrants’ preference for being apprehended by federal agents, who would allow them entry, over state authorities who would prosecute them asking, “Okay, so they look for a green uniform instead of a brown uniform?”

“Exactly,” Olivarez confirmed.

Migrants seek to be taken in by federal border patrol agents because they know that they will be more lenient than Texas state guards
Texas troops installing razor wire, monitoring the border, credit: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, X official

Highest influx seen in December

In December, migrant encounters reached a record high of nearly 250,000, surpassing the previous high of about 224,000 in May 2022, as reported by U.S. Border Patrol data. Texas, having the longest border with Mexico, experiences the most significant impact from immigration. Lt. Chris Olivarez noted that Texas forces were encountering an average of 5,000 migrants each day.

Read also: Texas, California, Florida with the highest number of people removed from Medicaid: 5.1 million

Migrants seek to be taken in by federal border patrol agents because they know that they will be more lenient than Texas state guards
Texas troops installing razor wire, monitoring the border, credit: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, X official

State’s efforts bring results

Since December, there has been a notable improvement in the situation, according to Olivarez. This improvement is attributed to Texas implementing a variety of deterrent measures, such as the installation of razor wire, the deployment of buoy barriers, the presence of thousands of state troops and guards, and the construction of portions of the border wall. These actions have made it increasingly difficult for migrants to cross the border, leading to a reduction in the number of encounters.

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