Search for:

The Mirage of Progress: Lessons from my Trip to the Texas Border

author Published by Andre Barnes

When touring the Texas border, you will see great walls, barbed wire, and military vehicles. When we landed in Eagle Pass there were no longer thousands crossing. This would give you the perception that progress has been made…I am here to tell you that it is all a mirage. A theater production between Texas and the current administration to display to the world that there is nothing to see here. However, through under the table deals and lack of commitment to adopt strong border policies, we should all understand that they are not serious about solving the issue.

I had the privilege of participating in the Center of Immigration Studies border tour. For five days we met with experts in Texas and Mexico who explained the complex issues of mass immigration along the border. My tour group had a total of 20 participants with two high profile guides, Mark Krikorian and Todd Bensman

During our trip we learned how the local community had their lives turned upside down when the border crossings got as high as 5000 per day. Their town resources were being depleted and there were high speed chases in school zones. The schools even had shelter in place protocols to deal with illegals trying to escape custody. The local state troopers were dealing with the daily tragedy of illegal aliens drowning in the Rio Grande River.

When we arrived at Eagle Pass, Texas, the number of crossings had significantly decreased. 

The fortifications that Texas put in place were only part of the solution. The show of force is excellent because it will intimidate some and deter others from crossing. However, strong policies are missing and we can not take this enforcement theater seriously because Texas has not adopted policies like E-Verify, and Congress has not passed H.R. 2

We spoke to a former border patrol agent, Mr. Randy Clark, and he gave a great explanation of how the policy changes have made it impossible for them to enforce the law. He stated that during the Trump and Obama years neither administration told them how to do their job. During the Biden Administration, it was determined that no longer would unlawful entry in of itself be a reason to take action. He likened this new stipulation to telling a cop that speeding is no reason to give a speeding ticket. 

As a result of those changes, citizens in Eagle Pass have had to deal with the problem of having thousands of people come through their small town. Texas has responded with increasing border fortification and working in coordination with Mexico to slow the flow. The people are driven to the United States because our policies incentivize them. If Mexico decides to be less involved we will see another swell in the numbers. 

We discovered that Mexico plays a big role in increasing or decreasing the flow. Mexico transported people to southern cities in Mexico with a fleet of 60 buses. The New York Times recorded the account below:

“I asked the agents, ‘How can you treat us like dirt?’” said Rosa Guamán, 29, from Ecuador. “She was detained with her husband and two children by migration agents in April near the border city of Piedras Negras. Nobody told them they were being taken to Villahermosa, an oil hub in southeastern Mexico, until they were well on their way.”

 They also prevented people from hopping on the outside of trains to quickly ride toward the border.

 Many of you are wondering what happened? 

Why is Mexico all of a sudden able to handle this crisis and if they had the ability to deter people from coming to the US, why haven’t they?

Well it is believed that shortly after Christmas the Biden administration met with Mexico to encourage them to divert the traffic away from Eagle Pass.

During the border tour we spoke with a judge, a rancher, journalists, border patrol officers, sheriffs, and non-profit organizations about what was going on at the border. What I found interesting was that no one was outraged with the illegal aliens coming across the border. NumbersUSA has a no immigrant bashing policy and it was refreshing to see that misguided hate was not welling up in the people. However, everyone we spoke to was upset about the policies.

Policies matter, let your elected officials know we need HR 2 and E-Verify to fix the border. We can’t continue to allow elected officials to put a bandaid on a leaking pipe. HR 2 and E-Verify are the proper tools to solve this problem.

Take Action

Your voice counts! Let your Member of Congress know where you stand on immigration issues through the Action Board. Not a NumbersUSA member? Sign up here to get started.

Action Board

Donate Today!

NumbersUSA is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that relies on your donations to works toward sensible immigration policies. NumbersUSA Education & Research Foundation is recognized by America's Best Charities as one of the top 3% of well-run charities.


Immigration Grade Cards

NumbersUSA provides the only comprehensive immigration grade cards. See how your member of Congress’ rates and find grades going back to the 104th Congress (1995-97).

Read More