‘We are exhausted’: Texas’ sheriffs, AG Paxton respond to migrant influx during southern border visit

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Harlingen, Texas (KVEO)—Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton visited the Southern Border on Wednesday to discuss what several are calling a border crisis.

According to a news release, Paxton met with law enforcement in the city of Mission, Texas.

Paxton was joined by Lavaca County Sheriff Micah Harmon, Refugio County Sheriff Raul “Pinky” Gonzalez, and Jackson County Sheriff A.J. Louderback.

The Office of the Texas Attorney General told KVEO that all Texas Border Sheriff’s Coalition were invited, including Rio Grande Valley and Hidalgo County police chiefs.

KVEO’s request for the full law enforcement invitation list is pending.

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Sheriff Harmon explained that although Lavaca County is over 200 miles away from the U.S.-Mexico border, the county is “dealing with the same issues.”

Harmon explained there was one incident in the county where a pickup truck crashed into a tree and caught on fire with more than 18 undocumented immigrants.

“We had to deploy all of our EMSs people, our fire departments, all of our law enforcements and it’s just a burden and a strain on our community having to deal with this,” Harmon said. “It’s not just a border problem, it’s not just a Texas problem, it’s an America problem.”

Sheriff Gonzalez explained that Refugio County is overwhelmed with the number of undocumented migrants that have been detained.

“We have had human smugglers go through our town, going 80 miles per hour in 35 miles per hour speed zones. They have no regard for human life,” Gonzalez said as he held up a stack of papers from all the call slips recorded since January.

Gonzalez explained that he has calculated over 3,000 hours of deputy work to process the increase of migrants crossing through the county, and since Refugio a rural area they do not have enough officers and their budget is limited.

During each of their remarks, the sheriffs thanked Paxton for the lawsuits against the Biden administration, and they hope to get the attention from the administration to “stop the crisis at the border.”

Over the past couple of months, Paxton has sued the Biden administration five times over the immigration reforms.

“Tremendous harm is being done to this state, tremendous harm is being done to this nation,” Paxton said. “The cartels are being enriched, given the opportunity to smuggle drugs, given the opportunity to human traffic and given the opportunity to charge these people exorbitant costs per getting into our state.”

The Southern Border has been again the focus of attention since President Joe Biden began dismantling former President Donald Trump’s policies when he took office.

Biden rescinded Trump’s declaration of a national emergency, suspended the construction of Trump’s controversial border wall, and vowed to end governmental practices of migrant family separation and rapid-fire deportations.

The shift in policy changed conditions and renewed hope for hundreds of thousands of migrants from Mexico and Central America seeking legal status.

The policy change also raised concerns about the number of people crossing the border and unaccompanied undocumented migrant youth since the Biden administration took over. This prompted federal officials to shift how they process children and to send for more federal resources to help.

Watch the full press conference below:

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