As the Texas National Guard prepares for deployment to the Rio Grande Valley, new figures released by U.S. Rep Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo) show the rush of Central American children into Texas may be slowing, News Radio 1200 WOAI's Michael Board reports.
'It was recently a high of 1200 to 1300 per day in the Lower Rio Grande," Cuellar said. "In the last couple of weeks it has gone down below 800."
Cuellar says it is unclear whether the significantly lower numbers are a temporary lull or an indication that efforts to stem the surge are working.
"The numbers I have gotten are correct," she said. "We don't know if it’s a trend and its going to increase again, or if it is going to continue to decrease, which I hope it will."
Meanwhile, Texas Democrats and some Rio Grande Valley residents are blasting the governor's decision to deploy the Texas National Guard to the border.
"DPS has surge going on, and they are doing a very good job plugging those holes," State Sen. Chuy Hinojosa (D-McAllen) told News Radio 1200 WOAI. "We don't need the military. Those families and the people coming across are not armed."
State Rep. Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio), who chairs the House Defense and Veterans Affairs Committee, which is responsible for the National Guard’s budget, agreed.
"It is unclear specifically how an escalation of National Guard troops will increase border security," Menendez said. "Under statutory authority, the National Guard cannot arrest anyone crossing the border illegally; only detain individuals until the Border Patrol can arrest them."
And many Rio Grande Valley residents are no excited about the National Guard going the Border Patrol surge and added DPS presence in their neighborhoods.
Monica Weisberg-Stewart of the Texas Border Coalition, who live in McAllen, says her community is not a 'war zone' as is so often portrayed in the media.
"We do not have this unlawfulness that is being portrayed," she said. "That is not the way we live here on the border."