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Eight Syrians have been detained by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents as they tried to enter the United States from Texas in the Laredo Sector.
The news was first reported by Breitbart News and later confirmed by DHS.
NBC News reports that Texas governor Greg Abbott posted the Breitbart News article on his Facebook and Twitter accounts, and said the story offers support for his decision no longer to allow Syrian refugees into Texas, Homeland Security News Wire reports.
DHS issued a statement to NBC News confirming that two Syrian families were taken into custody Tuesday, but clarified that they families were not trying to “sneak in.”
DHS confirms that on Tuesday, members of two Syrian families, two men, two women and four children, presented themselves at a port of entry in Laredo. They were taken into custody by CBP and turned over to ICE for further processing. The two adult women and four children were transferred to the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas. The two men from these families are being held at the South Texas Detention Center in Pearsall Texas. Due to privacy issues, no additional information will be provided at this time.
Border Patrol agent and NBPC Local 2455 President Hector Garza told Breitbart Texas:
“Border Patrol agents who we represent have been contacting our organization to voice concerns about reports from other agents that Syrians crossed the U.S. border from Mexico in the Laredo Sector. Our agents have heard about Syrians being apprehended in the area from other federal agents.” Agent Garza added, “At this time, I cannot confirm or deny that Syrians have crossed, for security reasons.
Breitbart Texas also reported that a Syrian had attempted to enter the United States illegally through Texas in late September. The Syrian was found to be using a passport that belonged to someone else, and U.S. authorities decided against prosecuting anyone involved owing to “circumstances.”