Buses full of migrants spotted stopping in Odessa

Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 6:44 PM CDT
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MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) - Buses filled with migrants have been spotted stopping in Odessa, raising concern amongst community members and local authorities.

Authorities say they have limited information and are actively trying to determine where all of the buses are coming from, where they are going and why.

Tuesday evening a bus full of migrants stopped at a Pilot located in West Odessa off of I-20 reportedly headed to Houston.

Ector County Sheriff Mike Griffis confirmed today they were able to contact two more buses last night filled with about 50 Venezuelans each driving through odessa. Both were headed to New York and the buses were allegedly sponsored by the City of El Paso.

“We’ve got enough trouble around here without adding to our problems we already have, i understand these people are human beings but we don’t have the resources to handle an influx of individuals in our community,” said Sheriff Griffis.

“So we’re going to face it head on and see what we actually need to do if that’s occurring out here.”

Sheriff Griffis says there were reports of some migrants getting off the bus and being picked up by vehicles, although the Sheriff’s Office has yet to confirm those reports.

He says most likely the men, women and children on those buses are unvetted and there is no way to know what they are doing which raises safety concerns for law enforcement.

“They sent them through, they’re headed to New York and to me they’re still illegal,” said Sheriff Griffis.

“They haven’t gotten citizenship via the proper legal way.”

Odessa resident Jeff Barnett claims he was at the Pilot gas station Tuesday night when one of the migrant buses arrived.

“In and out of the store, there were people all over the parking lot sitting here and there and one of the first things they did was they all started begging for money,” said Barnett.

“I asked them where are y’all going and they said they were going to Houston and I was here for about an hour or two hours and they were here the whole time.”

State Representative Brooks Landgraf says the source of this problem is coming from a failed border policy and lawmakers are doing everything they can at the state level to secure the border.

“We do know that there is a very big problem with a failed border policy we have an unsecured border that is creating a humanitarian crisis and allowing the free flow of drugs like fentanyl into our country,” said Rep. Landgraf.

“So we have a broken system and everything that we see even as it materializes here in the Permian Basin is a symptom of that broken system.”

Both Griffis and Landgraf are also in contact with Congressman August Pfluger who released a statement stating that the Permian Basin should not be forced to pay the price for President Biden’s border crisis and he is working to put an end to this.