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  • Writer's pictureLauren Jessop

Citizen Stringer visits the border Part Two: Eagle Pass, TX at sunset;

Things get interesting

Illegal border crossers at the Rio Grande in Eagle Pass
Rio Grande River, Eagle Pass, Texas - Photo by Lauren Jessop

The Citizen Stringer team spent about six hours at the Rio Grande River on November 12. In Part One of our Eagle Pass report we discussed what we found during the daytime hours. Our experiences as the sun was setting were ‘interesting.’ Within a short amount of time, two large groups of illegals showed up, and the stream of people was constant.

As the sun was setting, the mood shifted and things got a bit eerie. Everything changed – the lighting, the temperature, and the sounds.

We could hear various sounds coming from across the river in Mexico. One of the first we noticed was the crowing of roosters, then voices and music from what must have been a club or a party. We also started hearing barking dogs, which was something we had not heard before.

Then we heard something that made us stop and listen more closely. It was a gunshot. We heard several, but they were all solitary and spaced out with some time in between them. We suspected it was some sort of signal, possibly from the cartels.

We soon realized that when we heard the dogs barking, we would be seeing people that had crossed the river, made their way through the bushes, and onto the road in front of us.

Border Patrol agents, assisted by Eagle Pass Police Department officers were there waiting by then. This is a routine and they knew when to show up.

The first group showed up right around 5 p.m., and we estimated that it totaled over 100 people.

Everything was done in an orderly manner. The individuals were lined up and their passports or IDs were collected if they had it, and it appeared most did.

Border Patrol agents told us they were doing the prep work for processing that would be completed at the Border Patrol Station.

The first group went from one dozen, doubled quickly, and continued to grow until it reached what we thought to be over 100. Shortly after that group was taken away for processing, a second group started forming. Within about two hours, we witnessed approximately 150-200 illegal border crossers in just one area of Eagle Pass.

Here is a fast motion time-lapse of a sampling of videos taken that evening.

The single adult males in the groups will most likely be processed and deported. Families are usually processed and provided with either a Notice to Appear (NTA) or a Notice to Report (NTR.)

Typically, illegal border crossers who don’t get deported under Title 42 or Title 8, and are claiming asylum, are given an NTA, which gives them a location and date to appear before an immigration judge who will make a decision on their claim.

Beginning in the spring of 2021, many family units have been given NTRs, which instructs them to check in at the local Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office within 60 days of arriving at the location they wish to live in.

We know from speaking to many officials in the Del Rio Sector that they are overwhelmed, and we were impressed with the agents’ and officers’ compassion while dealing with a never-ending stream of illegal border crossers.

The border crisis is real. This is only one small area of many and this same thing is happening in locations all along our Texas border, as well as in Arizona, New Mexico, and California.

Still to come; part three of our report, which will show what happens after dark.

Originally published on Citizen Stringer, December 8, 2021

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