The number of asylum seekers is falling drastically, says McAllen Mayor

Mayor Javier Villalobos also says Operation Lone Star has been good for the local economy.

MCALLEN, Texas — For the first time ever, authorities made more than two million immigrant arrests along the southern border in the fiscal year that just ended. In August alone, US Customs and Border Protection detained nearly 204,000 migrants crossing Mexico.

While Gov. Greg Abbott says it’s a drain on state resources, McAllen Mayor Javier Villalobos says his city isn’t spending extra dollars on the problem.

“What has changed for us is kind of an advantage, a lot of asylum seekers, the numbers have come down drastically for us, from 1,500 a day last year to maybe 100 plus now. And that’s what we’re dealing with. What we don’t deal with are the other immigrants trying to get through illegally. That’s what the border patrol and everyone else has to do with it,” the mayor said InsideTexas Politics.

The mayor says those crossing the border rarely intend to stay there, but will instead head north to find higher-paying jobs in places like Houston, Dallas, New York and Chicago.

And he says the border crossing problems they saw a year ago in McAllen, on the southern tip of Texas, have shifted up towards Laredo and Eagle Pass.

“So it’s a burden? It’s kind of a logistical burden for us because we have to devote some of our manpower to assisting the federal government with these issues. But right now we’re lucky it’s not that bad,” he said.

Governor Abbott’s plan to deal with illegal immigration was Operation Lone Starwhere thousands of members of the Texas National Guard and State Police patrol the border.

but The Texas Tribune recently reported that the number of encounters with migrants at the Texas-Mexico border is higher today than it was before the governor implemented the program.

While Operation Lone Star was controversial by some, according to our recent Texas Decides poll, a joint effort by the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation (THPF) and Tegna Texas stations WFAA, KHOU, KENS, and KVUE, it is supported by a majority of Texan supports the additional manpower.

60% of likely Texas voters support the state using both the Texas National Guard and the Texas Department of Public Safety to patrol the border. And 66% support arresting people crossing the border illegally.

Villalobos, McAllen’s first Republican mayor in decades, says there was nothing controversial about the impact of all those extra bodies on the local community.

“We did great. We are blessed. The hotels, for example, are full,” Villalobos tells us. “We were ranked the sixth safest city in the country, second best in terms of violent crime in the state of Texas. I don’t know if that has anything to do with our placement. But we are a very good and safe place.”

https://www.kvue.com/article/news/politics/inside-politics/texas-politics/mcallen-texas-tx-mayor-javier-villalobos-number-asylum-seekers-immigrants-migrants-drops-dramatically/287-cd79611c-af9b-4d39-bd09-3c3023adf35c The number of asylum seekers is falling drastically, says McAllen Mayor

Laura Coffey

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