On June 26 at 8:45 AM, the Cameron County Commissioner’s Court will hold its regular court meeting. On the published agenda for tomorrow, there are at least two immigration items.
On the Consent Items portion of the agenda is Item A, “Consideration and Adoption of a Resolution Opposing the Separation of Undocumented Children from their Parents.”
According to a representative from the Cameron County Commissioner’s Office that Neta spoke to over the phone, consent items are items that have already received approval by Commissioners.
Under a separate section of the agenda, Items for Discussion and Action is also Item I “Consideration and possible approval of right of entry to the national guard to assist the U.S. Customs and Border Protection for Operations and Maintenance (O&M) purposes for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.”
Neta has reached out to Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño and the Cameron County Commissioners for clarification on what this proposal, which has not yet been approved, entails.
In April, Governor Abbott approved the deployment of 1,400 national guardsmen to the border to assist Border Patrol with immigration enforcement surveillance operations.
Locally, community members and volunteers who have been delivering supplies to asylum-seekers stuck on international bridges across the Rio Grande Valley due to claims by Border Patrol of “limited capacity” shared that they plan to attend the meeting.
While supportive of a resolution opposing the separation of children from their families, some have expressed concern about Agenda Item I.
When asked about Item I, Joyce Hamilton, a local volunteer and Cameron County resident, stated she was surprised to hear about the agenda Item I.
“I want to know more about what the resolution is and what it would do,” she stated. “I would like to see the full resolution. If this bill is about bringing in more national guardsmen to the border, I don’t think that’s what the border needs. The border does not need further militarization.”
Last week, Neta reported about the case of 18 asylum seekers that throughout the week found themselves stuck on the Gateway International Bridge in Brownsville, Texas.
The people who were waiting at the bridge last week through severe rain and heat were seeking to exercise their international and legal right to seek asylum at U.S. ports of entry.
To do so, however, they first needed to set foot in the U.S. Last week, Customs Border Protection (CBP) agents were screening people they believed to be asylum seekers on the middle point of U.S. and Mexico bridge, several hundred feet before an indoor processing station where people regularly show their identification cards.
At the Gateway Bridge, pedestrians needed to now show their IDs both at the halfway point of the bridge and at the indoor processing station, causing long lines and delays.
In reference to the asylum seekers that were forced to wait at the bridge for several days, Nayelly Barrios, another local volunteer, added, “Given what volunteers have been seeing with Border Patrol agents literally blocking asylum seekers mid-bridge at the Gateway International Bridge, which Cameron County has ownership over, I think the Commissioners really need to clarify what their role in all of this is.”
Last week, Neta reached out to Congressman Vela’s office and Brownsville Mayor Tony Martinez regarding this situation. Since Gateway Bridge is owned by Cameron County, Neta also reached out to Cameron County Commissioners. No response was provided.
Tomorrow’s meeting will be held on the second floor of the Cameron County Courthouse, Oscar C. Dancy Building (1100 E. Monroe Street) in Brownsville, Texas. Individuals interested in making a public comment must sign up to do so in advance. The representative of the Cameron County Commissioner’s office recommended showing up by 8:30 AM to register for public comment.