Border Patrol to close 6 interior stations in Texas as part of new strategy

Texas will take the biggest hit with the Border Patrol station closings.Of the nine set to shutdown, six are in Texas, and one each in California, Montana and Idaho. Border Patrol's Acting Assistant Chief Henry Mendiola says 41 agents will be reassigned to the southern and northern borders. "We are looking at our national strategy," he said. "We are realigning our assets, looking at our priorities and reassessing where you can utilize these resources." U.S. Customs officials predict closing the nine posts will save more than a million dollars a year. Mendiola says cost-saving isn't the primary focus. "Right now we're targeting the front lines and when we realign some of these assets and with looking at our new national strategy, this is definitely a benefit to us," he said. It's unclear if the move will impact the Rio Grande Valley sector. Mendiola says any added boots on the ground would be a plus. There's rising fear of spillover violence related to the Mexican drug cartels. Agents along the river near Brownsville recently reported people throwing rocks at them while on patrol. But the shift in manpower worries Texas law enforcement. Some fear that without the help of the interior stations, they would have to release the people they find. "I-40 is a corridor for not only narcotics but also for the human trafficking," Potter County Sheriff Brian Thomas said. "We do use the Border Patrol quite a bit to come out and help us with those. They're the ones that have the authority to arrest them and detain them, we don't." In an interview with Action 4 News via Skype, Representative Henry Cuellar says this is not a case of the government "robbing Peter to pay Paul" when it comes to border security. "There are other agencies of the Homeland such as I.C.E. who will take care of these folks in the interior of the United States," he said. Some of the stations set to close are hundreds of miles from the border. Cuellar says the new shift brings agents closer to where they belong--along the border.The stations that will be closed -- most of which are in Texas -- are:

-- Abilene, Texas-- San Angelo, Texas-- Riverside, California-- Dallas, Texas-- San Antonio, Texas-- Lubbock, Texas-- Amarillo, Texas-- Billings, Montana-- Twin Falls, IdahoClick here to join Ryan Wolf TMs Facebook pageClick here to follow Ryan Wolf on Twitter