It felt like the entire world was watching the immigration issue that was unfolding in Del Rio Texas. All the news feeds were portraying this as an event that unfolded over a few days and without much notice. However, I can tell you that this was probably not the right assumption or news information; of course, we all know that conventional news sources find ways to bend stories to create emotional support for the cause and I think this was the case for this crisis. Why am I writing this story? Because I was there in Del Rio to support those that were in support of these missions, and the information I was getting was completely different than what the mainstream news was putting out.
I was deployed to Del Rio Texas with a civilian agency (which will be unnamed) with a 24-hour notice for reporting. When I arrived and tried to get some information about the mission, there was very little information provided; only that I was being tasked, with a few other responders, to stand up a base camp. Apparently, there was a call from the Governor’s office with an urgent need to stand up space for 100 personnel in support of the border surge missions. I really did not get much direct information about who would be staying there until some of them began showing up. My drive into Del Rio was quite telling, as there seemed to be a state trooper staged everywhere along highway 90; this certainly began to set the scene for what I was about to get involved with. This camp was set up very quickly to house law enforcement officers because of the unavailability of hotel accommodations; however, that did not happen, and we ended up housing jail and processing center personnel. Our operation seemed routine and without much issue or interference, however, the information that these personnel began to share with us was quite interesting.
I can’t entirely prove everything that was told to me by these jail support and law enforcement personnel, but the patterns of information from across the camp population seemed to be the same. The news media seemed to portray that the immigration problem along our borders was under control and that the proper processes were being conducted. What I was hearing from this support personnel were quite different. The local jail had reached the capacity, so a temporary detention/processing center was setup to handle the immigrants as they were detained. My understanding was that a prison in the local area was also converted to “normal” jail to try and keep up with the influx. Even with all this extra inmate space, the law enforcement personnel were running out of places to put the high flow of immigrants. What began to happen is what I have been told was a “catch and release” program. Most of the illegal immigrants coming across the river in Del Rio, were caught, then taken somewhere in town and released on their own. I wonder how many illegal immigrants are wandering around Texas, and beyond, that simply were given a free ticket into the United States?!
Even this craziness was interrupted by a massive surge of Haitian immigrants and a huge influx of state troopers, almost overnight. We received direction to begin standing up and additional 300 bed capacity and that this needed to be completed and ready in 24 hours. The news reports began to become flooded with pictures and scenes of the massive number of Haitian immigrants stuck at one of the main bridges in Del Rio, without the ability to cross over to the United States. Within hours of our new orders to increase our bed capacity, the calls began coming in from numerous amounts of state agencies and offices, in a frantic push to find space to house all the troopers that were now inbound to Del Rio. Truck loads of equipment, vehicles, and supplies began rolling into the camp over the next few days. I was receiving crazy amounts of items that I did not request, and my thoughts began to question, who is paying for all this stuff?! We managed to get everything in place to receive 300 additional law enforcement people; the contractors we had on site do quite an amazing job to meet this deadline. I don’t think I have ever seen so many law enforcement vehicles parked in one place, they were parked in every available space on our footprint. I worked with many agencies to house these personnel for the first night, but for some strange reason, they never returned to the camp following that night. There was no information given as to why all the troopers left and never came back.
The camp was almost like an eerie ghost town with over 30 empty tents, which were housing nothing but empty cots. I have read about, and heard about, gross spending of tax dollars, but I have not actually witnessed it directly. We were now sitting at less than ¼ capacity for this camp and no movement on what was going to happen next; where did all the law enforcement officers go? The following day I was told by some of the remaining law enforcement, that were departing soon, some very strange information. I was informed that all 30,000 of the Haitian immigrants had simply disappeared; when I questioned how they disappeared, no one had any knowledge of where they disappeared to. I later learned from one of the senior troopers, that many these immigrants were simply released into the United States. I was also informed that there was some initial deportation of these immigrants, that did not continue due to the revolts that occurred on the aircraft. Basically, almost all these illegal immigrants were directed to return for a court date in the future; and how many of these people do you really think will return for this court date?
Additional information was provided by some of the facility staff that were deeply connected with others in Mexico. The information that was relayed gave me the feeling that this was a planned event. We were told that these Haitian immigrants did not just arrive but have been in Mexico for quite some time. It appears that the Mexican government was holding these immigrants in a designated area with the premise that if they left the area, they would immediately be jailed and deported. Coincidentally, around the time of the Del Rio border surge, the Mexican government gave all these immigrants a few days to leave the country, so guess where they ended up? You guessed it, at the bridge in Del Rio Texas. I cannot not validate this information, but it certainly aligns to what happened on our Texas border. But information was also provided that there was still a large number of immigrants in a camp just across the border in Mexico – perhaps waiting for the next surge?
This base camp is still in place, even though they took away half of the bed capacity, as I departed for some time off. The available space is now being utilized by National Guard troops and vehicles; now the law enforcement personnel are being plussed up by military troops that will probably exceed 5, 000 (this is public information). The company that was contracted to take over jail operations, was awarded the contract for 3 years – synchronicity that the current administration will be around for that long? Another piece of information provided was the possibility that these immigrants were not poor at all; they were going back to a city in Mexico, just across the border, to buy food and supplies daily. Where exactly did they get the money to purchase food and necessities?
The one thing I can say, without a doubt, is that there are some things that simply do not line up. Why are so many immigrants being allowed to just come into the United States? We have not even discussed the issue of all the Afghan immigrants that were brought in not long ago. What is the best way to take down a great nation like the United States? I would argue that the only way to do that effectively, is to take it down from the inside out. Is this what is currently happening? Something to think about for sure.