MISSION, Texas (Border Report) – More than 100 members of the Texas National Guard in full riot gear practiced military maneuvers on the banks of the Rio Grande in deep south Texas on Thursday, a day after the governor of the Texas, Greg Abbott, announced far-reaching border security plans. until the end of title 42.
Brandishing batons and carrying shields, the troops formed human chains as they moved together along the thorny scrub of the Rio Grande overlooking Reynosa, Mexico, Thursday afternoon, just outside Anzalduas Park.
They shouted “Stand back! Back off!” and practiced swinging their batons and protecting each other. The training formations are anticipating what could be a wave of migrants crossing the narrow river, Maj. Mike Perry of the military department said Thursday. of Texas, which is in charge of the National Guard.
Abbott said Wednesday that troops would begin training for “mass migration” surges in five locations along the border, including Del Rio, Eagle Pass, Laredo, Zapata and Anzalduas Park south of Mission City, in Texas.
“We’re here in anticipation of Title 42 expiring,” Perry said. “What we’re doing is showing our ability to scale capabilities, manpower, and technology to any part of the state of Texas to accommodate any mass migration.”
Abbott said there could be 18,000 migrants trying to cross the southwest border daily from Mexico once Title 42 is lifted on May 23.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced last week that the Centers for Disease Control was lifting the 1940s Public Health Act that was put in place in March 2020 by the Trump administration to help prevent the COVID-19 from entering the United States.
But migrant advocates say it was an unnecessary law meant to stop migrants trying to seek asylum on US soil.
Thursday’s drills lasted less than an hour. Troops came in four large transport vehicles and were repeatedly told to hydrate as they trained in 80-degree temperatures.
Similar drills were also scheduled to begin in Laredo, Zapata, Eagle Pass and Del Rio, Abbott said.