Border Patrol Closing Leaves Law Enforcement Troubled

Several months after U.S. Customs and Border Patrol announced it would close nine border patrol offices, including the Amarillo station, local law enforcement remain in limbo.

"We as law enforcement have no authority over someone that's just undocumented," Brian Thomas, Potter County Sheriff said, "If you're an undocumented person and we stop you on the highway, all we can do is stop you for, the only thing I can do, is what I stopped you for, for speeding." 

That means, in any instance, local law enforcement can only deal with the crime at hand. According to Thomas, they cannot handle matters of immigration at all. 

The Amarillo office will close in March, along with eight other offices nationwide, many in North Texas and the Panhandle. Customs and Border Patrol is calling the action deactivation, meaning the offices could potentially reopen. The two agents currently in Amarillo will be relocated closer to the border.  

"We are in conversations with the Border Patrol and with the ICE folks in Washington about how this job of backing up local law enforcement gets done. And we've asked a lot of questions they have not been able to answer yet," Representative Mac Thornberry, (R) - Clarendon, said.  

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