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Laredo Border Patrol checkpoints left unmanned

Del Rio migrant surge forces Laredo checkpoints to shut down
Border Patrol Seal
Border Patrol Seal(AP)
Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 11:02 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) -Checkpoints in and out of Laredo have been shut down.

In a video interview, U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar told KGNS the decision comes from the Federal Government as it tries to send available Border Patrol agents to Del Rio due to the influx of migrants.

It’s been an overwhelming situation for Del Rio officials to handle for the past 48 hours.

More than 12,000 migrants, mostly from Haiti, have been gathering under the international bridge between Del Rio and Ciudad Acuña, Mexico. Officials are scrambling to bring reinforcements from across the country.

The checkpoints in Laredo have been left unmanned since 6 p.m. Friday, where BP agents were reassigned to Del Rio according to Congressman Cuellar.

People can still drive in and out of Laredo, this just means the checkpoints are bypassed.

“ I do not blame the local Border Patrol,” said Cuellar. “They are just being told what to do. I blame the policies. I told the headquarters what they are doing is wrong because the more people they allow in the more people that are going to come. Under the law is someone is supposed to stay they will stay. They should be deporting people back to their countries of origin, otherwise, they are enticing other people to come in.”

Cuellar said he was notified that about 400 agents from surrounding areas will be sent to Del Rio, but could not confirm how many for Laredo specifically.

Hector Garza, Vice President of the National Border Patrol Council, and President of the Laredo Border Patrol Union spoke to KGNS at the I-35 checkpoint Friday night during a live News broadcast.

“It’s so unfortunate that the cartels are getting a free pass throughout these checkpoints in Laredo and at the Del Rio checkpoints,” Garza said.

According to Garza, the shutdowns bring several dangers.

“We’re talking about human lives, that means more and more tractor-trailer loads and smuggling events are going to be getting through this highway, I-35, in the Laredo sector. That means human lives are at risk and also dangerous drugs and dangerous criminals are coming through the border” Garza said.

The I-35 checkpoint is one of the sites temporarily unoccupied by agents and in any given night the site would be busy with lines of vehicles and trailers but on Friday it was closed.

Some of the checkpoints closed temporarily included HWY 359 and HWY 83.

Garza says they have called the Biden administration to send resources so the checkpoints can reopen for operation.

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