Texas Border Mayor: Biden’s New Immigration Order is About Election-Year Optics

FILE: Randy Clark/Breitbart Texas

President Joe Biden invited several border city mayors to his signing of an executive order limiting asylum claims at the southwest border on Tuesday. The order allegedly aims to further reduce slower migrant crossing rates that have dropped precipitously since January. One Texas mayor, Rolando Salinas of Eagle Pass, one of the nation’s busiest migrant crossing points during Biden’s first three years in office, was left off the invite list and questions the motive and timing for the president’s newest executive order.

Breitbart Texas spoke with Mayor Salinas. He said he received a call from a White House staffer informing him of the development and signing ceremony on Tuesday but did not receive an invitation to attend. “I’m sure the lack of invitation may be related to how outspoken and critical I was of the administration as our city faced the immigration crisis,” Salinas told Breitbart Texas.

Salinas says he sees the lack of inclusion of Eagle Pass as not just a personal affront but also an affront to all the citizens of the city that has seen its ports of entry for pedestrians, vehicles, and rail traffic shut down due to the overwhelming number of migrant crossings during President Biden’s first term. The surge of migrant traffic making the city the busiest crossing point into the United States at times resulted in huge expenditures by the city’s Fire Department who are often tasked with responding to migrant medical emergencies, drownings, and heat-related deaths.

The toll still mounts as migrant crossings continue, albeit at a much lower pace. As reported by Breitbart Texas, in one recent five-day span, five migrants perished in and around Eagle Pass attempting to make the dangerous crossing into the country.

The mayor says he welcomes any action that limits the number of people crossing illegally into the city. He added, “I can’t help but question why this was not done last year when our city saw two to three thousand people per day crossing, when our bridge had to be shut down, and businesses were hurting. We could have used executive action back then as well.”

Salinas says he believes the timing is all about election-year optics and should have come much sooner. He added, “I get it, we’re not blind down here; we know what’s going on.”

Many believe the order will allow for quick expulsion of migrants when crossing levels exceeding 2,500 to 4,000 per day. According to a source within CBP, daily migrant apprehensions are in excess of 3,900 per day as of June 1.

Recent negotiations between the United States and Mexico resulted in a ramping up of border enforcement actions in Mexico that reduced the ability of migrants to reach the southwest border altogether. Soldiers with Mexico’s National Guard and the country’s National Institute of Migration conducted operations limiting the migrant’s ability to use public transportation and board and ride the “Bestia” or beast freight train system in southern Mexico.

Few details of this plan between the Biden and AMLO government that commenced in late December have been revealed. Still, as Breitbart Texas has witnessed, the election year plan has impacted major crossing points once bustling with unabated migrant crossings.

Eagle Pass is one such crossing point. Breitbart Texas posted in Mexico across from the city and observed one migrant group of more than two thousand strong cross the Rio Grande in a single event in September. According to Salinas, there were less than two hundred crossings in the area in one day this week.

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.


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