Eagle Pass declares state of emergency over migrant surge

More than 4,000 migrants have crossed into Texas border town in recent days

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A Texas town has declared a state of emergency following a recent surge in migrant crossings from Mexico.

More than 4,000 migrants crossed into Eagle Pass this week, overwhelming the town whose population is under 30,000.

Eagle Pass Mayor Rolando Salinas Jr said the emergency declaration would allow the town to request financial resources to help cope with the influx of migrants. The emergency declaration will be issued for one week.

Eagle Pass borders the city of Piedras Negras, Mexico, which is across the Rio Grande.

The US Customs and Border Protection said it has redirected personnel to assist Border Patrol with taking migrants into custody.

“In response to this influx in encounters, we will continue to surge all available resources to expeditiously and safely process migrants,” the agency said in a statement.

“We will maximise consequences against those without a legal basis to remain in the United States. CBP will continue to prioritise our border security mission as necessary in response to this evolving situation.”

Texas Governor Greg Abbott posted a video on X, formerly Twitter, that appears to show authorities cutting razor wire, which the state installed to prevent crossings.

Mr Abbott claimed President Joe Biden's administration cut the wire, “opening the floodgates” to the migrant crossings.

“I immediately deployed more Texas National Guard to repel illegal crossings & install more razor wire,” he said.

Mr Abbott has been one of the most vocal critics of Mr Biden's border policies and is currently in a legal battle with the administration over placing buoys in the water to prevent migrant crossings.

Updated: September 21, 2023, 3:52 PM