(NewsNation) — A new wave of migrants coming to the southern border is hitting Eagle Pass, Texas, prompting the state to focus its resources on that stretch of the border.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas National Guard to work together to deter and block migrants from crossing illegally into the U.S.
Eagle Pass, a town on the U.S.-Mexico border, has become a new hotspot for illegal crossings, sources tell NewsNation. They say cartels are funneling migrants to different crossing points along the Piedras Negras on the Mexican side, to cross into Eagle Pass between the ports of entry.
On the U.S. side, Texas DPS and the Texas military have set up miles-long razor wire to encourage migrants to go to a legal port of entry, state officials say. Alongside the razor wire barricade, officials have placed large shipping containers to block migrants.
In May, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis sent Florida law enforcement agents to assist Texas state troopers in areas where illegal crossings were high, including Eagle Pass.
Human smuggling operations and cartels in Mexico continue to give migrants misinformation, telling them as long as they cross the Rio Grande River, they will be allowed into the U.S. But Texas DPS tells NewsNation that single males and females crossing illegally will be charged with criminal trespassing.
“We advise if they do cross they will be arrested … criminal history against them now,” Sgt. David Cordova, Texas DPS public information officer, told NewsNation.
Just days ago, Texas DPS arrested 41 single adult males for criminal trespassing and turned over 66 family groups to Border Patrol agents.
NewsNation cameras captured a group of Venezuelan migrants that were in the Rio Grande River for three hours, trying to find a spot to cross the razor wire. The group included a 9-month-old baby.
The already risky journey to the border is being made more dangerous as temperatures hit triple digits.
At least 55 migrants have died in the El Paso sector since Oct. 1, with some instances being heat-related.
A group of roughly 30 migrants was blocked from stepping onto American soil by the razor wire, causing them to be stuck on the banks of the Rio Grande River. The migrants tell NewsNation they have gone days without food and water, but the threat of cartels and other dangers stops them from going back.
Migrants tell NewsNation they are desperate to cross into the U.S. at the risk of deportation, after months of trying to schedule an asylum interview through the government’s CBP One app.
Officials in Eagle Pass don’t expect migrant crossings to slow down in July despite the brutal heat and dangers of swimming through the Rio Grande, as migrants from other Mexican border towns are making the journey to one of several crossing points in Piedras Negras to enter Eagle Pass.