Thousands of migrants crossed into El Paso from Mexico over the weekend
The increase comes about two weeks before the anticipated end to a restrictive border policy that’s been in place since 2020.
Thousands of migrants that recently made their way to northern Mexico crossed into El Paso over the weekend in one of the largest-ever crossings on that part of the Texas-Mexico border.
United States Border Patrol agents in El Paso reported seeing an average of about 2,500 crossings each day.
“Over the weekend, the El Paso Sector experienced a major surge in illegal crossings with a 3-day average of 2,460 daily encounters, primarily through the downtown area of El Paso,” El Paso Sector Acting Chief Peter Jaquez posted on Twitter Monday. “Border Patrol personnel, along with our governmental and non-governmental partners, are doing all we can to assess and manage the migrant influx as it continues to impact our region.”
Breaking! Over the weekend, the El Paso Sector experienced a major surge in illegal crossings, with a 3-day average of 2,460 daily encounters, primarily through the downtown area of El Paso. We will continue to keep the public informed as the situation evolves. pic.twitter.com/V2pOO6Y31N— Peter Jaquez (@USBPChiefEPT) December 12, 2022
The migrants include a large group believed to have been detained by organized crime in the Mexican state of Durango as it made its way north, the El Paso Times reported early Monday.
The increase led Customs and Border Protection officers from El Paso and Border Patrol agents from the nearby Big Bend sector to aid in processing the migrants, CBP El Paso said in a statement Monday.
The mass crossing comes less than two weeks before a controversial border health policy put in place by the Trump administration and continued by President Biden is set to expire. Title 42 allows the U.S. to keep people from entering the country to stymie the spread of a communicable disease. It was invoked in 2020 to contain the spread of COVID-19, Trump officials said at the time, and was kept in place despite opposition by Democrats and several immigrant rights organizations.
Last month, a federal judge ruled the policy was “arbitrary and capricious” and ordered the Biden admiration to stop enforcing it. The administration has appealed the decision, but news of the policy’s potential end has sounded alarm bells for city governments and other officials who argue that shelters and federal holding facilities in border cities cannot handle the anticipated large numbers of asylum seekers.
The increases in crossings have forced federal officials to release hundreds of migrants into the streets because of a lack of space in processing facilities. The average number of daily releases in El Paso stood at about 900 as of Monday, according to statistics from the City of El Paso. That includes nearly 300 “daily street releases,” according to the information, in addition to the more than 5,100 migrants who are in CBP custody daily.
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