State, Federal Officials Dispute Whether Texas Was Asked to Shut Down Border ‘Ports of Entry’ Due to Migrant Crisis

A Texas Department of Public Safety officer directs a group of migrants who crossed the border and turned themselves in, Wednesday, acJune 16, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
AP File Photo/Eric Gay

Texas Department of Public Safety officials reported via Twitter early Thursday morning that someone from U.S. Customs and Border Protection contacted them to request assistance in shutting down “ports” of entry in the Del Rio area. DPS claims CBP later reversed or denied ever making the request.

Texas DPS officials tweeted a statement Thursday afternoon stating that CBP officials contacted their agency to “assist them with shutting down ports of entry in the Del Rio sector.” The tweet states DPS officials prepared to provide assistance.

A few hours later, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued the following statement:

The sheer negligence of the Biden Administration to do their job and secure the border is appalling. I have directed the Department of Public Safety and the Texas National Guard to surge personnel and vehicles to shut down six points of entry along the southern border to stop these caravans from overrunning our state. The border crisis is so dire that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection is requesting our help as their agents are overwhelmed by the chaos. Unlike President Biden, the State of Texas remains committed to securing our border and protecting Americans.

At about the same time as the governor’s statement, CBP officials replied to an inquiry from Breitbart Texas and stated:

The Border Patrol is increasing its manpower in the Del Rio Sector and coordinating efforts within DHS and other relevant federal, state and local partners to immediately address the current level of migrant encounters and to facilitate a safe, humane and orderly process.

Governor Abbott later issued a statement saying CBP officials reversed their course on the request for assistance. The Governor stated:

Six hours after U.S. Customs and Border Protection requested help from Texas to close ports of entry and secure the border, the Biden Administration has now flip-flopped to a different strategy that abandons border security and instead makes it easier for people to cross illegally and for cartels to exploit the border. The Biden Administration is in complete disarray and is handling the border crisis as badly as the evacuation from Afghanistan. I have directed the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas National Guard to maintain their presence at and around ports of entry to deter crossings.

The tweet posted above from Texas DPS officials stated “Our partners advised us that shutting down ports of entry is no longer part of their strategy.”

Breitbart Texas reached out multiple times throughout the day to CBP officials requesting information about who made the request for assistance and what assistance they requested. We also requested additional information from CBP about plans to care for the nearly 10,000 migrants being held under the Del Rio International Bridge including plans for sanitation and security.

Late Thursday afternoon, CBP Assistant Commissioner Luis Miranda released the following statement from the Department of Homeland Security:

The Department of Homeland Security is not seeking assistance from the State of Texas to shut down ports of entry. It would be a violation of federal law for the Texas National Guard to unilaterally do so.

Officials have not yet provided a formal response regarding the number of migrants being held under the bridge continues to grow at an alarming rate.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

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