Photo courtesy the Uvalde Leader News
The border may be a long ways away from Devine, but just 77 miles down the road, the community of Uvalde is experiencing the fears and crisis first-hand. The following is reprinted with permission by the Uvalde Leader News (www.uvaldeleadernews.com).
This May, the U.S. Border Patrol announced its intention to bring 10-25 migrants a day to Uvalde. Amid protestations from Uvalde County residents upset over the idea of the U.S. Border Patrol delivering migrants to the city of Uvalde, county commissioners approved an interlocal agreement with Southwest Area Regional Transit District to bus said migrants to San Antonio at a cost of $277 per busload.
That May some $20,000 was allocated by the City of Uvalde and Uvalde County to bus migrants who have been dropped off and relocate them to San Antonio area shelters.
While the number of migrants being dropped off in Uvalde has not reached the 25 per day forecast last month, the humanitarian crisis at our southern border has gone unchecked. In the last month alone, the U.S. Border Patrol’s Del Rio sector has detained thousands of family units, largely from Central America but also those fleeing far-flung nations in West Africa. Our city and county have done their part to secure transportation to San Antonio shelters for the 117 people dropped here so far, but it is high time the federal government stepped up to mitigate the problem.
Mayor talks migrants in D.C.
McLaughlin wants U.S. House to act on Trump’s plan
By Kimberly Rubio
Reprinted with permission by the Uvalde Leader News
This June Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin Jr. was in Washington, D.C., to address the humanitarian crisis on the southern border and request that U.S. House of Representatives leadership put President Donald Trump’s $4.5 billion border supplemental on the floor for a vote.
The $4.5 billion includes requests of $3.3 billion for humanitarian assistance – including 500-bed facilities for migrant processing in El Paso, the Rio Grande Valley, Nogales, Arizona, and two in Yuma, Arizona, and food and transportation for detained migrants – $1.1 billion for border operations, and $178 million for mission support.
During a half hour press conference, McLaughlin was called upon as a first-hand witness. Uvalde is about 70 miles from Del Rio and about 60 miles from Eagle Pass.
According to McLaughlin, between 300-500 migrants are being released into the Eagle Pass community every day, while 140-160 are being released in Del Rio.
The U.S. Border Patrol has released 117 migrants in Uvalde since May 23, but the migrants are being taken to San Antonio via Southwest Area Regional Transit at a cost of $277 per 19-passenger bus upon release. The cost increases to $377 on the weekends or holidays. All migrants transported are family units.
“But, while Border Patrol is busy with these family units that they are catching and releasing, we have seen five car chases in Uvalde in the last two weeks,” McLaughlin said.
“… A lady that was transporting them said they had a gun. Whether they did or they don’t, we don’t know. We didn’t catch them,” McLaughlin said. According to Uvalde Police, Border Patrol agents believed the woman was claiming to have been forced at gunpoint to transport a group to avoid human smuggling charges.
McLaughlin said there has been an increase of migrants being found during train checks.
“We have a rancher that lives by where they stop these trains. One last week confronted him, threatened him and so forth,” McLaughlin said. The incident was not reported to Uvalde County Sheriff’s Office, but McLaughlin said the rancher’s family is now afraid to visit him.
McLaughlin, who was invited to the press conference by U.S. Congressman Chip Roy who represents the 21st District of Texas, also touched on the issue of mumps at the Uvalde station. One individual has been quarantined so far.
“This isn’t a Democrat’s problem or a Republican’s problem; this is an American people’s problem. It is real. It may be happening in Uvalde today, but as these people are shipped all over the country chances are, they are coming to a community you live in,” McLaughlin said.
Speaking Wednesday morning, McLaughlin said he was thankful for the opportunity to speak at the press conference.
“I didn’t say anything that I haven’t said already,” McLaughlin said, noting that many questioned him with regard to an increase in crime, which Uvalde has not seen.
“Everybody wants to sensationalize this, but we just want it fixed,” McLaughlin said. “I was really shocked that many congressmen didn’t have a clear understanding of the issue. They are being told different things.”
McLaughlin also met Angel Families, relatives of victims killed by immigrants.
“I met one whose daughter was killed by an illegal immigrant and one whose son was shot in the face by an illegal immigrant. The son that was shot, it was over a pack of cigarettes,” McLaughlin said.