Lubbock and Amarillo Border Stations to Close in 6 Months

In an effort to increase its mission and use its personnel more effectively, U.S. Border Patrol has ordered border stations in Amarillo and Lubbock to close in six months and the agents who are stationed will be deployed to the border areas.  In total, nine stations are scheduled to close with six of them in Texas.

Federal and local law against trafficking and illegal immigration

  • Area law enforcement officials have been very critical of the decision citing that they don’t have the authority to enforce federal law as this is reserved for the Border Patrol in addition to preventing human trafficking and illegal immigration.

  • One of those law enforcement officials who have criticized the move is Potter County Sheriff Brian Thomas who noted that while local law enforcement has the authority to pull over an illegal alien, the role of detaining them is reserved for the Border Control agents as local law enforcement does not have the available resources to run checks in order to confirm whether they are in the country legally or illegally.

The move however, is being considered as a cost-cutting measure in areas where there are few agents and those agents can be relocated to border areas where they can be more resourceful.  Only two agents are assigned to the Amarillo office and fewer than 10 are stationed out of Lubbock.

As of now, it is unclear whether Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will step in to fill the void once the border agents depart Amarillo and Lubbock.  However, the resident agent in charge of the Amarillo office, Robert Green, commented that ICE has the discretion to establish a protocol in being able to provide assistance to local law enforcement in the future.

The Border Patrol agents are primarily focused on securing border through:

  • air

  • land

  • sea

The ICE agents are used to investigate various cases including:

  • human smuggling and

  • trafficking

Thus ICE focuses on illegal immigrants who have committed a serious crime and reserves much of its resources on arresting and removing illegal immigrants.

Lubbock and Amarillo Stations

Lubbock and Amarillo’s Border Patrol stations have been opened since 1955 and 1969, respectively, and the two stations combined cover more than 50,000 square miles.  Until 2003, Border Patrol was responsible for enforcing all immigration laws.  However, upon the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Border Patrol began focusing its resources on illegal immigration and human trafficking.

Although the agents will depart Amarillo and Lubbock relatively soon, a spokesperson for the agency commented that Border Patrol will continue to cooperate with local law enforcement until the last day on which the agents are assigned to the area.

Along with the agents in Amarillo and Lubbock, a total of 41 border agents are scheduled to be relocated which make up the nine stations that have been ordered to be closed.

Crossing a Border

Many incidents happen when crossing a US border. When the border patrol personnel have a reason to doubt a traveler or his or her documents, they will hold the traveler for interrogation and sometimes detain him or her at the border detention center.

Niren and Associates for over 15 years has been constantly receiving telephone calls from people being stopped or denied entry at a US border. The travelers may have hard time demonstrating the right intent for traveling to the US if they are not fully aware of the complex areas of immigration laws.

Prior to entering the country, travelers who are uncertain of their case or status should consult first a skilled immigration lawyer.

Niren and Associates, a firm with offices in Houston Texas and across the United States, is more than able to help anyone with immigration issues. Call (713) 338-2711 for a free evaluation of your case or send your message to [email protected].

Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.



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