The Border Patrol might not be in the business of demolishing homes, but it is in the business of protecting Americans from smugglers and illegal immigrants.
So the federal agency is teaming up the South Texas City of Laredo and the Texas National Guard to help raze abandoned buildings and homes that are used as havens for criminals, the Star-Telegram reports.
Before Border Patrol’s help, the project, dubbed Operation Crackdown, has already demolished 1,350 structures, many of them described as drug houses or hiding places for migrant smugglers.
“We can join forces so we can do something about these substandard properties that we come across during our regular patrols,” said Greg Salinas, a Border Patrol agent and agency spokesman. He added that the buildings were used as stash houses for illegal immigrants or narcotics. “They will just use it as a temporary holding place where they can come across, hide and leave, or jump into a vehicle.”
Property owners who don’t consent could have their properties condemned because of the dilapidated condition.