Video: Border Patrol interrupts inaugural baseball game at La Joya Sports Complex

Local News
La Joya Sports Park Border Patrol DPS Photo 5 (112016 via Frances Salinas).jpg

Border Patrol agents interrupted the inaugural baseball game at the La Joya Sports Complex on Sunday, when they detained a woman and a child watching from the bleachers. (Photo by Frances Salinas De Leon.)

Border Patrol agents interrupted the inaugural baseball game at the La Joya Sports Complex on Sunday, when they detained a woman and a child watching from the bleachers.

La Joya Mayor Jose A. “Fito” Salinas delivered the ceremonial first pitch Sunday at the new sports complex near Military Road and Garza Avenue — a short walk from the Rio Grande.

While kids watched from the bleachers, players from La Joya faced the first-ever visiting team. The mayor brought a barbecue pit to feed the crowd. Then Border Patrol agents arrived, followed by Texas Department of Public Safety troopers.

“And here these people come ruining the whole damn thing,” Salinas said.

Two men wearing street clothes started questioning a woman in the bleachers.

“They proceed to ask her ‘Ma’am, where are you from? Do you have an ID? How did you get here?'” said the mayor’s daughter, Frances Salinas De Leon, who recorded the incident and provided the video to CBS 4 News.

After asking a few questions, Border Patrol detained the woman and a child.

“On Sunday afternoon, Border Patrol agents from the McAllen Station working in La Joya, Texas, witnessed a woman and three children walking out of the brush next to the river and into the nearby stands of a baseball field,” according to a statement released by Border Patrol. “Agents approached the woman who claimed that she had taken the children to the brush to go to the bathroom. During the conversation, it was determined that the woman and one of the children were in the United States illegally. The woman and child were taken into Border Patrol custody. They were both processed as a prosecutorial discretion and were later released.”

De Leon said the incident made the crowd uncomfortable.

“It was uncalled for. I know that they’re doing their jobs, but the way it was done was so inappropriate,” De Leon said, adding that Border Patrol could have waited until the woman left the park to question her. “We have our first baseball game, and they come out and do this to us.”

Attempts to reach the woman for comment were unsuccessful.

Roel Valdez of La Joya spent Sunday manning the barbecue pit at the park and watched the incident from a distance.

Residents see Border Patrol agents make arrests every day, Valdez said, but witnessing agents approach women and kids in the park unnerved the crowd.

“But once again, if you’re here legally, then you shouldn’t be afraid of nothing,” Valdez said. “If you’re here illegally, what can I say?”




Statement from U.S. Border Patrol

On Sunday afternoon, Border Patrol agents from the McAllen Station working in La Joya, Texas, witnessed a woman and three children walking out of the brush next to the river and into the nearby stands of a baseball field. Agents approached the woman who claimed that she had taken the children to the brush to go to the bathroom. During the conversation, it was determined that the woman and one of the children were in the United States illegally. The woman and child were taken into Border Patrol custody. They were both processed as a prosecutorial discretion and were later released.

Every day, Border Patrol agents apply DHS enforcement and removal priorities when determining whether to remove a migrant from the United States. In this case, prosecutorial discretion was exercised, consistent with policy, and the subjects as stated above, were ultimately released.

RGV Sector will continue to prioritize threats to national security, public safety, and border security while treating individuals we encounter with dignity and the respect they deserve.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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