EL PASO – The Border Patrol is planning a "crowd control exercise" on Election Day near a Hispanic neighborhood in El Paso.
The agency announced plans for the exercise, scheduled for 10 a.m. MST Tuesday, in a news release Monday afternoon. The "mobile field force demonstration" wants to take place west of the Paso del Norte port, which is currently being strengthened.
Customs and Border Protection spokesman Roger Maier, when asked about the timing of the exercise on Election Day, said, "Our preparations are ongoing. There is no link to the election date. "
However, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Texas, Terri Burke, criticized the timing.
"The location, next to a totally Hispanic neighborhood, is suspicious. The timing of this – Election Day – is suspicious. This administration, and by extension the Abbott administration, have done quite enough to intimidate voters without staging military rehearsals on the day our nation exercises our most important democratic obligation: voting. Instead of practicing to handle nonexistent crowds, the Border Patrol could be useful and timely: how to properly interview and process refugee asylum seekers, "Burke said.
Ted Cruz, which was told at the press conference just before his final rally Monday night at the University of Texas at El Paso ,
"No walls, no CBP exercises (are) going to keep us from honoring our laws, our commitments. Why this is happening now, why the president is about to leave, "he said.