Texican Standoff: Border Surge Paused at Rio Grande by Texas Law Enforcement After Title 42 Ends—Todd Bensman

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Reporter Todd Bensman is one of the few journalists at America’s southern border in Texas, covering the mass migration crisis that has worsened since the lifting of Title 42—a Trump-era policy allowing U.S. authorities to swiftly expel illegal immigrants.

“You cannot find a single Border Patrol agent anywhere in sight. They are pulled off of this operation,” says Bensman. “At the federal level, they were just escorting them all in for processing, which filled the processing stations to 150 percent capacity.”

In the last few days, Bensman has witnessed thousands of migrants meet no resistance from law enforcement as they cross the Rio Grande river from Matamoros, Mexico, and climb over razor wire into Brownsville, Texas. In response, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott deployed state troopers and a special tactical unit of the National Guard to defend the river’s edge.

“If it wasn’t for this Texas operation down here in Matamoros, there would be mass street releases. Nobody would know where to put them. You have to have a detention space to put them in while you’re doing the new plan. So … the Biden administration should be appreciative that the Texans are giving them a little breathing room here,” says Bensman.

Bensman surmises that the migrants have gotten the message, and will likely shift from El Paso and Brownsville to the Eagle Pass/Piedras Negras border crossing. He calls this tense triangular battle between migrants, state, and federal law enforcement the “Texican standoff.”

“In the two and a half years that I have been watching this and recording and documenting this mass migration crisis, I have never seen immigrants turned away. They are always red-carpeted right in,” says Bensman.

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