BROWNSVILLE, Texas – The Texas Border Coalition says a proposal by the Trump administration to bring 600 CBP officers to the border region is nothing but an election campaign publicity stunt.

Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño, Jr., chairman of TBC, says the additional manpower will not improve the efficiency of land ports of entry if, at the same time, lanes are closed.

According to the Trump administration the CBP officers will help block COVID-19 carriers from crossing land ports of entry in the Rio Grande Valley and Laredo. However, with non-essential Mexican visa holders already barred from coming into the United States, the only people CBP would be stopping are essential workers, U.S. citizens and legal residents.

TBC issued a news release criticizing the Trump plan on Wednesday. The day before, Treviño made similar comments in a Q&A with reporters following a news conference about COVID-19.

Here is the audio:

The Texas Border Coalition is a collective voice of border mayors, county judges, economic development commissions focused on issues that affect 2.5 million people along the Texas-Mexico border region and economically disadvantaged counties from El Paso to Brownsville. 

Here are Judge Treviño’s remarks in the TBC news release:

“TBC has long advocated for additional CBP officers at the land ports of entry to facilitate legitimate trade and travel and stem the flow of human trafficking and contraband; however, the recent announcement of a temporary surge of 600 CBP officers to the Rio Grande Valley and Laredo sectors raises serious concerns about their purpose and the intentions of the Administration in sending them here, at this time.

“This surge will be more taxpayer money wasted on border security theatre if it does not facilitate legitimate international trade and travel.The increased staffingdoes no good for border communities if the number of operating lanesare reduced during peak hours, driving up wait times and further preventing international travelers that border communities rely on.

“What are these 600 CBP agents going to be doing if crossing lanes continue to be reduced? Immigration is sharply down compared to the last few years, as is the number of immigrants and asylum seekers in federal custody. The surge should not suppress legitimate trade and travel, nor intimidate U.S. citizens, legal residents, and international travelers. It should reduce wait times at our land ports, enabling more lanes to be open and relieving other CBP officers where manpower has been stretched thin due to the pandemic.

“If the Administration really wants to help, it would redirect security and humanitarian resources to the border region permanently, not just for a few weeks during election season. In addition to well-functioning, fully staffed land ports, border communities need additional emergency management resources, COVID-19 testing capabilities and medical supplies and personnel both for our federal agents and our border communities.”

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above news story shows Cameron County Judge and Texas Border Coalition Chairman Eddie Treviño, Jr., and Ron Whitlock of Ron Whitlock Reports.

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