Texas removes barbed wire on border

Texas removes barbed wire on border

Texas removes barbed wire on border

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – The Texas military has removed barbed wire, intended to discourage illegal immigration from Mexico, along a stretch of the Rio Grande from downtown El Paso to Old Fort Bliss.

Border Report cameras on both sides captured the startling image of several large piles of frayed barbed wire along that mile-long stretch of river, overlooking Juarez, Mexico. That visual evidence underscores the removal of the barbed wire.

It was not immediately clear why the barrier was taken down. There was no immediate response to Border Report’s emailed questions to the Texas Military Department, the Texas Division of Emergency Management and the Department of Public Safety, asking whether this represents a change in strategy, is related to maintenance or is perhaps a harbinger of things to come.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted photos of a welder working on a fence-like structure two days ago. “Texas National Guard soldiers are constructing barriers that will be placed along the border in El Paso. Texas continues to use every possible strategy to deter and repeal illegal entry into our state,” Abbott said on X on July 2.

In any case, the state’s efforts to protect the border were still evident on Friday.

Unmarked DPS vehicles and pickup trucks could be seen driving up and down the barbed-wire-free stretch of border that, before the barrier was erected last year, was a favorite “turnover” spot for migrants trying to turn themselves in to U.S. Border Patrol and request political asylum.

The barrier erected last year immediately reduced border crossings in the area and forced people to walk several miles east in search of a place to cross the river. Abbott said he ordered its installation without the Biden administration effectively enforcing it. He later claimed that the state’s efforts to reduce illegal immigration had forced people to cross through other states.

According to data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, encounters with migrants have been declining along the border in recent months. They had plummeted since early June, when the Biden administration threatened to turn asylum seekers arriving between ports of entry across the border if the 2,500 threshold was reached in a given week.

Border Report camera crews recorded only one migrant crossing the Rio Grande from Juarez to El Paso since the barbed wire came down.

Juan Carlos López Morales, spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Juárez, said he hopes the Texas barrier will disappear for good, but also admitted that if it remains in place, it could encourage migrants to use that route again to enter the United States.

“It shouldn’t have been there. It’s inhumane treatment of migrants,” Lopez said. “Now, removing it should have been done from the beginning because it was not appropriate to treat migrants that way; some will also see it as an easy way to cross. That will motivate more migrants to move toward that section” of the U.S. border.

Lopez underscored the complexity of the issue, saying that the movement of people across the U.S.-Mexico border cannot be solved by simply “putting up or taking down barriers.” He stressed the need for both Mexico and the United States to have comprehensive, clear and humane guidelines to regulate this movement.