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America’s Open Border Dulled Uvalde Reaction To ‘Lockdown Alerts’

(Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Mary Rooke Staff Writer
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The Texas House of Representatives committee report released July 17 showed that the staff at Robb Elementary School received almost 50 notices to lockdown their classroom from February until the shooting in May, dulling the alert’s effectiveness.

The majority of the lockdown alerts were received by staff at the Uvalde elementary school, located 50 miles from the U.S. Southern border between Texas and Mexico, resulting from high-speed chases between law enforcement and border crossers, according to the report.

Employees received their 47th lockdown alert on the day of the shooting but practiced loosened safety measures because staff had become accustomed to it, the report found. (RELATED: Mayorkas Says The Border Is Fine Despite Blatant Chaos)

“Another factor contributing to relaxed vigilance on campus was the frequency of security alerts and campus lockdowns resulting from a recent rise of ‘bailouts’ — the term used in border communities for the increasingly frequent occurrence of human traffickers trying to outrun the police, usually ending with the smuggler crashing the vehicle and the passengers fleeing in all directions,” the report stated. “The frequency of these ‘bailout’-related alarms — around 50 of them between February and May of 2022 — contributed to a diminished sense of vigilance about responding to security alerts.”

Democratic Texas state Sen. Roland Gutierrez said the community had become “numb” to the alerts. “It’s as if you had a fire drill every day,” Gutierrez told The Wall Street Journal.

April and May set historic Department of Homeland Security records regarding the number of migrants agents encountered at the U.S. border. Agents interacted with 234,088 migrants in April and 239,416 in May, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.