At least ten people who trespassed along the US and Mexico border were so far jailed, authorities said on Thursday, warning that more will be arrested as Texas began implementing the order of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott to curb the number of people who commit trespassing.
Abbott announced the move in June as he also announced that Texas will continue establishing the border wall, which was pushed by former US President Donald Trump. The governor also asked his counterparts to send law enforcement and National Guard members to the southern border.
Robert Hurst, Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman, said that the arrested individuals are jailed at a vacant state prison in Dilley.
More than 950 people can still fit the space which was converted into a detention facility.
Val Verde County Attorney David Martinez said all the arrested so far were single adult men. He shared that he was told last week that the arrested people can reach as much as 100 or 200 daily, sounding concerned that the figure “would overwhelm not only my office, but our entire system pretty quickly.”
While most of the land along the southern Texas border is private, Martinez, with his own understanding, said that family units will be exempted from arrests by state members.
Last month, there had been a total of 55, 805 members of families with children handled by the US officials, as they announced last week. This posts a 25% increase as compared with the previous month but is still lower than the 88, 587 reported in May 2019, ABC News reported.
“If John Doe is caught on my property and he has his wife and his children with him, chances are he’s not going to be arrested,” the attorney said. “That’s what’s been represented to me.”