Middle School Locks Down Multiple Times After Migrants Use Property To Evade Arrest

(Photo by PAUL RATJE/AFP via Getty Images)

Hailey Gomez General Assignment Reporter
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A New Mexico middle school was placed on lockdown multiple times after a group of migrants had used the school to evade arrest by U.S. Border Patrol agents.

Superintendent of Gadsden Independent School District Travis Dempsey confirmed to KFOX14  that within the past weeks, there have been two incidents of migrants entering Santa Teresa Middle School’s property, forcing the campus to go into a secure mode. Dempsey stated that the first incident occurred on March 20, while the second incident on March 27 led to the arrest of six migrants after the school was on lockdown for 20 minutes. (RELATED: El Paso Judge Orders Release Of Migrants Seen In Viral Video Overwhelming National Guard)

“It is concerning and it does at some level interrupt our educational process when we do things of this nature,” Dempsey told the outlet.

Following the incident March 27, U.S. El Paso Border Patrol issued a statement that confirmed the six arrested after being found “outside” of the middle school. Officials noted that it was “common” for agents to receive calls within the community regarding migrants due to the “proximity of the border.”

“During the early hours of March 27th, U.S. Border Patrol Agents assigned to the Santa Teresa Station apprehended a group of six migrants outside of the Santa Teresa Middle School. Agents were able to locate the individuals after being advised by another law enforcement agency on site. The Santa Teresa Middle School was temporarily placed on a secure status as a precautionary measure when they observed our agents and other law enforcement in the school’s proximity,” officials stated, according to the outlet.

A woman who was apprehended crossing the US-Mexico border, in Sunland Park, New Mexico on July 22, 2021. (Photo by PAUL RATJE/AFP via Getty Images)

A woman who was apprehended crossing the US-Mexico border, in Sunland Park, New Mexico on July 22, 2021. (Photo by PAUL RATJE/AFP via Getty Images)

Following the incidents, parents and guardians spoke to KFOX14 about their concerns over the issue, with some worried about the children possibly being harmed.

“We’re a little nervous because with the fear and nerves migrants have of being caught by immigration officials, we don’t know if they’d do something to our students,” a parent within the Gadsden ISD, Maria Gallegos, told the outlet after being forced into the first lockdown.

“It’s really bad because we’re with the concern that something could happen to the kids,” a grandparent to a Gadsden student stated.

While Dempsey stated that the middle school has one school resource officer on campus from the Sunland Park Police Department, a spokesperson with Customs and Border Patrol told the outlet that migrants encountered within the Santa Teresa and Sunland Park area are regularly evading arrest from officials, oftentimes unaware of where they’re going.

“The Santa Teresa Middle School is one of the areas where these migrants jump into without thinking of where they’re going through because they’re trying to evade arrest,” spokesperson Refugio Corrales told KFOX14.

Corrales stated that due to the increase in migrants evading arrest, there has been a higher number of agents during school hours for extra watch. Additionally, Dempsey stated that the school will be using their security cameras to look out for any possible future run-ins with migrants.