Preventive efforts ramp up at El Paso border

Immigration

(NewsNation) — El Paso, Texas, has mostly returned to normal following visits from President Joe Biden and law makers, in part, because of deterrence efforts along the Rio Grande River.

Armored vehicles lined the river Tuesday as far as the eye could see. More than 500 Texas National Guard members have been deployed to the El Paso sector to assist Border Patrol and the Texas Department of Public Safety with the influx of unauthorized crossings at the nation’s southern border.

“Everywhere we go, all of a sudden there’s nobody here, so it’s working,” said 1st Sgt. Suzanne Ringle, public affairs officer for Operation Lonestar.

Border encounters also tend to slow this time of year, according to border patrol officials.

The sector, encompassing 125,500 square miles, was a hot spot for crossings last month when thousands of migrants streamed into the city— the majority of them from Venezuela. The Biden Administration was quick to announce a policy that allowed agents to turn away Venezuelan migrants who arrive at the border.

That policy now includes migrants from Cuba, Haiti and Nicaragua. Poverty and political instability are often driving forces behind those migrants’ treks to the U.S. border.

Preventive efforts have also ramped up. Fencing and concertina wire now stretch along the river bank and a command center sits at what was once the busiest crossing point.

Ringle said the groups are only a distraction.

“As long as they got the masses coming across, the cartels can do what they need to do down the line,” Ringle said. “And that’s what it’s all about and this right here is cutting into cartels money.”

Smoke and mirrors have become common practice for the cartels, which, according to Ringle, are capitalizing on messaging that inaccurately leads migrants to believe the border is open.

“It’s important that they do it the right way and the safe way because endangering your children is never the answer, endangering yourself is never the answer, and that’s me as a mom, a nana, a soldier and a civilian all rolled up in one,” Ringle said.

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