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Democratic lawmakers tour Eagle Pass near buoy barrier in Rio Grande

KHOU 11's Anayeli Ruiz was on a trip to report from the border.

EAGLE PASS, Texas — Several Democratic congressmen and women were in Eagle Pass on Tuesday, two of them from the Houston area. They were touring the Rio Grande and the buoys placed along the river.

Reps. Sylvia Garcia and Sheila Jackson Lee were part of this visit put together by Rep. Joaquin Castro.

The purpose, they said, is to get a better understanding of what is happening on the border.

The visit started at a pecan farm. The owners said they have cooperated with Border Patrol in the past and even leased some land so they could process migrants.

They said they believe migrants should not be crossing the river and need to cross legally through the port of entries and have even helped save the lives of many.

But they said Operation Lone Star took over some of their property without their consent and now they’re asking for help.

The Democratic congressional delegation also sat down to speak with city officials and hear their concerns. They said they want help with the large number of migrants who cross there.

They said their city can be overrun by them, but they also don’t like the fact that DPS has taken over a public park and public ramp for Operation Lone Star.

They said DPS has overstepped by trying to enforce immigration laws that need to be enforced by Border Patrol.

“It’s a direction that Border Patrol manages and directs. They need to be here,” a farm owner in the area said. “They’re going to be here to support them that way, not take over specific areas, take over private properties, trespass, etc., and do everything they’re doing.  If this is going to be a political play, there’s no room for that."

We also got a tour with the DPS spokesperson early Tuesday morning. He took us down by the river to see buoys and their operations.

He said they are arresting people who step onto private property and said they have permission from those property owners to make a trespassing arrest. The men and women are taken into jail and face misdemeanor charges, and they’re turning over the families to Border Patrol.

He said they’re following the directives put in place by Gov. Gregg Abbott.

Many argue that it's the job of the federal government, not the job of DPS.

Anayeli Ruiz on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


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