Border patrol has been a consistent issue in the United States. The laws are as inconsistent as the officers working the jobs. In recent news, Latino-dominant towns near the border have been the subject of a highly increased number of citations.
Why is this happening?
In March 2021, Texas Governor Greg Abbott implemented a controversial border patrol mission known as “Operation Lone Star.” The goal of the mission was to foil the rising number of immigrants crossing the border. Governor Abbott blames President Joe Biden’s immigration policies for the increase.
In September 2021, the Texas legislature passed House Bill 9, which funded nearly $2 billion into border patrol security. In November 2021, approximately 10,000 National Guard soldiers were deployed throughout the Texas border.
At the Southwest border, the number of enforcement actions reached over 1.9 million.
From 2020-2021, there was a 278% increase in total migrant encounters. The increase has been consistent. In 2022, each month has surpassed the total number of enforcement actions and migrant encounters from the previous year.
How border patrol actions affect locals
In Brackettville, Texas, citations naturally quadrupled due to the new extreme efforts set in place by Governor Abbott.
Brackettville is home to many Latino civilians who have been subject to wrongful search and seizure. Seventy-three-year-old local and police veteran Richard Gonzalez spoke on the recent changes in his long-time hometown.
“I never had this problem before this border situation came into their minds. We were just a regular little sleepy town and all of a sudden now, it’s pursuits everywhere and that’s because there are so many, a flood of law enforcement officers here”, said Gonzalez.
According to NBC News, Gonzalez’s Wife, Anita Anaya, no longer drives around her hometown. She’s been stopped by officers while traveling from Del Rio to Brackettville.
It’s upsetting to learn there are counties populated with thousands of Latinos who don’t feel safe from the people who are supposed to protect them. The Texas government – along with other states’ governments – must work on this.
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