SAN ANGELO, Texas – On Tuesday Feb. 5th, a caravan of almost 2,000 Central American migrants has arrived just outside the Texas-Mexico border with the hopes of crossing into the United States, according to officials.
Authorities say the migrants arrived Monday in Piedras Negras, across the Rio Grande from Eagle Pass in Maverick County, Texas.
There to meet the influx of migrants was a surge in law enforcement that included multiple sheriff’s offices, the U.S. Border Patrol and the Texas Department of Public Safety.
“If anyone tries to cross the border illegally, they’ll be arrested,” Maverick County Sheriff Tom Schmerber said.
Schmerber said about 500 Texas state troopers had arrived in Maverick County by Tuesday along with 50 reserve deputies from across the state.
“We feel very comfortable that police from other counties are ready to respond,” Schmerber said.
Including the U.S. Border Patrol and personnel from surrounding county sheriff’s offices, Schmerber said two SWAT teams also are on standby to maintain order.
“When I went to Mexico this morning, the mayor of Piedras Negras was there and told me around 1,800 (migrants) – about 80 percent from Honduras – were there,” said Schmerber.
“One group of migrants is hoping to make it into Arizona and another group to Minnesota,” Schmerber said.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security vowed Tuesday that the “lawless caravan” would not be allowed in.
“Approximately 2,000 aliens have arrived in northern Mexico as part of a ‘caravan’ seeking to cross the border into Texas. Illegal entry will not be tolerated and we stand ready to prevent it,” DHS Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen wrote in a statement, adding “DHS will take all steps to ensure the safety and security of law enforcement personnel on the frontlines.”
Images from local media show U.S. agents with riot gear and shields standing on a bridge separating Eagle Pass and Piedras Negras. DHS said Border Patrol agents have already apprehended some migrants who crossed the border illegally overnight.
Coahuila state Gov. Miguel Angel Riquelme said about 1,700 migrants arrived late Sunday aboard 49 buses from the cities of Saltillo and Arteaga. Another smaller group headed toward the neighboring state of Nuevo Leon.
An improvised shelter was set up for the migrants at an unused factory, and local officials said the migrants had been given sleeping mats, blankets, food and wireless access.
State child welfare officials reported there 46 unaccompanied youths aged between 15 and 17 in the caravan.
Contributing: The Associated Press
Source: YAHOO NEWS