The unfurling of a foreign flag planted on a Texas island smacked down the “asylum seekers” narrative and reignited concerns over who President Joe Biden’s border crisis is enabling to enter the United States.
On Monday, members of the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Tactical Marine Unit could be seen converging on an island near Eagle Pass, Texas separated from Mexico by the Rio Grande. There they took down what appeared to be a Colombian flag for which placement had been attributed to incoming illegal aliens.
DPS spokesman Lt. Chris Olivarez posted a video of the flag’s removal to X and wrote, “The #EaglePass area continues to experience an influx of illegal immigrants — the majority from Venezuela. Some decided to claim a #Texas island by placing a foreign flag — that was quickly taken care of by our DPS Tactical Marine Unit. #DontMessWithTexas.”
That video was later shared by Fox News national correspondent Bill Melugin with the caption, “Planting the flag of the country you are supposedly fleeing from is a head scratcher. Spend enough time down there and you learn quickly that the narrative of ‘asylum seekers’ is way off. Overwhelming majority want work or to link w/ family in US & do not qualify for asylum.”
Planting the flag of the country you are supposedly fleeing from is a head scratcher.
Spend enough time down there and you learn quickly that the narrative of “asylum seekers” is way off.
Overwhelming majority want work or to link w/ family in US & do not qualify for asylum. https://t.co/PTk54wmkcz
— Bill Melugin (@BillMelugin_) September 25, 2023
Melugin’s sentiment was shared by others who decried the use of the term “asylum” as the southern border continued to undergo what would better be described as an ongoing invasion.
Placing a Foreign Flag says it’s an invasion happening, and these people claiming asylum should be denied from here on out.
— Robert Mahar (@Rob1515) September 25, 2023
Can anyone say invasion any clearer?
— Graydon Phillips (@GPhillipsforTX) September 26, 2023
Speaking with Fox News Digital, Olivarez explained that the island in question had been taken over by DPS in May 2023 after the expiration of Title 42. It was further detailed that the flag was emblazoned with “Robenz,” suggesting the man behind the stunt was actually activist and disaster artist Roberto Marquez.
Mexican-born Marquez has engaged in activist art along the border and in other locations to garner attention, like at the site of fatal shootings, Ukraine and the condominium collapse in Surfside, Florida. According to Texas Monthly, he resides in the Dallas area and obtained citizenship after moving there in 1995, having previously worked in the Washington, D.C. area and California and been deported at least once. He shared an image of himself on social media in front of what appeared to be the same flag from the DPS video tagging the Eagle Pass location.
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Melugin had also reported on the situation in Eagle Pass comparing it to that of two years ago in Del Rio where more than 15,000 Haitians had gathered. Now, “thousands of predominantly Venezuelans [were] gathering” in Eagle Pass.
It’s a total free for all in Eagle Pass right now. Mass illegal crossing taking place for over an hour and a half. Almost 2 years to the day we saw 15,000+ Haitians under the bridge in Del Rio, we now have thousands of predominantly Venezuelans gathering under Eagle Pass bridge. pic.twitter.com/VkfUQnexGZ
— Bill Melugin (@BillMelugin_) September 20, 2023
The reporting came the same day that Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas had extended Temporary Protected Status for Venezuelans by 18 months, permitting those who had already been stateside to remain over their safety concerns.
“Temporary protected status provides individuals already present in the United States with protection from removal when the conditions in their home country prevent their safe return,” Mayorkas said in a statement. “That is the situation that Venezuelans who arrived here on or before July 31 of this year find themselves in. We are accordingly granting them the protection that the law provides. However, it is critical that Venezuelans understand that those who have arrived here after July 31, 2023 are not eligible for such protection, and instead will be removed when they are found to not have a legal basis to stay.”
Of course, the secretary’s extension did little to resolve previously reported concerns that Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro Moros had allegedly been emptying prisons to send violent criminals toward the U.S.-Mexico border.
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