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Brownsville Station: A rare success story
By Manny Fernandez in Brownsville, Tex.
In the busiest Border Patrol sector on the southwest frontier — the Rio Grande Valley, where a tent city was opening this week to ease overcrowding at packed migrant processing centers — there is one 23-mile stretch where there is no border “crisis.”
Some stations along the 1,900-mile border have recently been apprehending hundreds of migrants a day. Brownsville gets 35 to 45, on average. Some Border Patrol stations routinely nab mega-loads of drugs, like the 925 pounds of marijuana intercepted the other day near Rio Grande City, Tex. In Brownsville, 150-pound loads are the average.
What’s the secret?
The Border Patrol employs a three-pronged concept as a kind of operational mantra when it comes to securing the border: personnel, technology and infrastructure. In other words, boots on the ground, high-tech gadgets and fencing.
Brownsville Station has some of each.
The result, Border Patrol officials say, is that smugglers tend to push most of the drugs and migrants to less-fortified areas farther west.
In an area of South Texas where heavy drug smuggling and unauthorized migration helped prompt President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency on the border, Brownsville has been quietly providing the Border Patrol with a rare success story.