A Texas Town Wanted Tougher Border Security. Now It Regrets It.


Nina Feldman, Diana Nguyen and

Marion Lozano, Chelsea Daniel and

When the governor of Texas announced an extraordinary plan to use local law enforcement to try to deter migrants from crossing from the border with Mexico, few communities were more receptive than the city of Eagle Pass, where residents had become fed up with the federal government’s approach.

Now, two years later, people who once welcomed the plan are turning against it. Edgar Sandoval, who writes about South Texas for The New York Times, and Nina Feldman, a producer on “The Daily,” traveled to Eagle Pass to find out why.

Edgar Sandoval, a reporter covering South Texas for The New York Times.

A woman wearing a blue and white blouse and a straw hat stands gesturing next to a barbed wire fence.
An owner of a pecan orchard along the southern border pointing toward state-installed wire and fences on her property along the Rio Grande in Eagle Pass, Texas.Adrees Latif/Reuters
  • A campaign by Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas to turn back migrants was initially welcomed on the border. But in Eagle Pass, some of that support appears to be waning.

  • The city’s mayor declared a state of emergency last month as the level of crossings strained resources.

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Edgar Sandoval and Nina Feldman contributed reporting.

Fact-checking by Susan Lee.

Special thanks to David Goodman and Eileen Sullivan.

The Daily is made by Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan, Alexandra Leigh Young, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, M.J. Davis Lin, Dan Powell, Sydney Harper, Mike Benoist, Liz O. Baylen, Asthaa Chaturvedi, Rachelle Bonja, Diana Nguyen, Marion Lozano, Corey Schreppel, Rob Szypko, Elisheba Ittoop, Mooj Zadie, Patricia Willens, Rowan Niemisto, Jody Becker, Rikki Novetsky, John Ketchum, Nina Feldman, Will Reid, Carlos Prieto, Ben Calhoun, Susan Lee, Lexie Diao, Mary Wilson, Alex Stern, Dan Farrell, Sophia Lanman, Shannon Lin, Diane Wong, Devon Taylor, Alyssa Moxley, Summer Thomad, Olivia Natt, Daniel Ramirez and Brendan Klinkenberg.

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