Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) arrested more than 40 unlawful migrants after encountering an even bigger group of over 100 allegedly trespassing on private property and refusing to vacate the premises.
The unlawful migrants crossed the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass and came onto private property, ignoring the orders of DPS troopers who repeatedly instructed the migrants not to enter the area, according to a press release from Gov. Greg Abbott’s office.
After 41 unlawful migrants from Venezuela refused to cross back into Mexico, they were arrested and charged with criminal trespassing. More than 60 family groups were also present and referred to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol for processing.
The intervention by state authorities was part of Operation Lone Star, a “multi-agency effort [that] has led to over 386,000 illegal immigrant apprehensions and more than 30,000 criminal arrests, with more than 28,000 felony charges reported,” according to the governor’s office.
DPS also recently found 10 children in triple-degree heat who had been abandoned near Eagle Pass after being smuggled from Honduras. The children were found by DPS’ Safety Brush Team, a detachment of troopers tasked with policing areas of the border between ports of entry.
Unlawful migrants have been posing a security threat to private property owners across South Texas along the U.S.-Mexico border. In some rural counties, police dispatches have surged by 600% as unlawful migrants pass through on foot or in smuggling vehicles.
In 2021, Texas rancher Brent Smith’s property suffered $60,000 in damages when unlawful migrants cut fencing and destroyed infrastructure on his land. He told reporters at the time that people in his community are unable to enjoy their property or safely go into their backyards at night.
Despite the threats to American citizens and routine violation of property rights, Congress has yet to advance a comprehensive solution to unlawful migration. The result appears to be record-setting numbers of unlawful border crossings. On June 22, the Federation for American Immigration Reform estimated that the population of unlawful migrants in the United States has increased by 16% since 2020.