HomeNationalTexas National Guard soldiers given special ammo to deter illegal immigrants

Texas National Guard soldiers given special ammo to deter illegal immigrants

The state of Texas, under the leadership of Gov. Greg Abbott, has a lot of reasons to celebrate the success of the Operation Lone Star initiative, because several recent reports show a sharp decline in the number of migrant encounters in all Texas border sectors. Since the start of the special operation more than three years ago, Texas has managed to put illegal immigration under control in the absence of adequate federal help.

Different entry points

The fact that Texas somehow managed to secure the border doesn’t mean that immigration in general is under control. Getting into the country through Texas has become nearly impossible, so illegal immigrants have now shifted towards other entry points in Arizona and California. California, as a sanctuary state, now deals with a huge influx of migrants at the southern border, a trend that experts believe is only going to get worse. The state of California is projected to experience a record-high number of immigrants this fiscal year, something that heavily bothers California’s southern areas, including local residents, who are fearing for their safety and are actively buying guns in recent weeks.

What’s next?

During the last three years, Texas has implemented various controversial measures to secure the border. Thousands of troops are currently monitoring the Texas border with Mexico with the help of other Republican-led states. Despite the increased difficulty for migrants to cross the Texas border, those seeking entry into the U.S. employ various sneaking techniques to evade detection. Such a trend is evident in El Paso.

A controversial measure

Every day, hundreds of migrants are reaching the area just south of El Paso by taking freight trains known as “The Beast.” This surge started when the Mexican government eased its restrictions on people catching rides on these trains. In anticipation of more illegal crossing attempts, Texas National Guard soldiers have been equipped with non-lethal pepperball ammunition. This measure aims to prevent migrants from illegally crossing in the heavily secured areas near entry points, a source from the National Guard disclosed to the New York Post.

Texas National Guard soldiers are equipped with non-lethal pepperball ammunition to combat illegal immigrants who use trains to get into Texas
Securing the Texas border with Mexico, credit: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, X official

More troops called

Armed with “thousands” of pepper balls, the troops are ready for action, as described by the source who exclaimed, “It’s on like Donkey Kong right now,” indicating that more soldiers are being summoned as backup. Last Wednesday, the first of these trains arrived in Juarez, just below El Paso, unloading hundreds of migrants. According to a report by Border Report, some of these migrants planned to head straight to the Rio Grande to illegally cross into El Paso, while many families aimed to find shelter in Juarez before making their crossing attempt on Thursday.

Texas National Guard soldiers are equipped with non-lethal pepperball ammunition to combat illegal immigrants who use trains to get into Texas
Securing the Texas border with Mexico, credit: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, X official

The “Death Train”

Migrants call the trains that take them to the border “La Bestia,” meaning The Beast, because it is also known as the “Death Train.” The name comes from the high risks of death or injury as migrants cling to the sides or ride on the roof during the perilous journey between Chihuahua and Juarez. In response to a recent surge where hundreds of migrants overran a non-entry gate known as Gate 36 in El Paso on March 21, Texas has equipped soldiers and state troopers with pepper ball guns and other devices designed to disperse large groups.

Texas National Guard soldiers are equipped with non-lethal pepperball ammunition to combat illegal immigrants who use trains to get into Texas
Securing the Texas border with Mexico, credit: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, X official

Incidents at the border

This event in late March was not a standalone occurrence. According to KFOX14, another significant incident occurred at the El Paso border on April 12. On April 15, in a separate event, a soldier part of Texas’ border efforts shot a migrant while intervening in a stabbing among illegal border-crossers. Despite efforts to manage the situation, Texas officials anticipate further incidents, expecting an increase in migrant numbers in the coming months as summer approaches.

Texas National Guard soldiers are equipped with non-lethal pepperball ammunition to combat illegal immigrants who use trains to get into Texas
Securing the Texas border with Mexico, credit: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, X official

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