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Surge in Migrant Crossings at the U.S.- Mexico Border Raises Concerns
The border crisis has only gotten worse. Border patrol officers are overextended and now drug cartels are seizing their opportunities.
The U.S.-Mexico border has seen a significant surge in migrant crossings in recent weeks, raising concerns among border patrol officials and local communities. This uptick in illegal border crossings is not only straining the resources of border agents but also raising questions about the tactics employed by drug cartels to exploit vulnerabilities in the immigration system.
Fox News reported this week on what has proven to be one of the largest border crossings observed in the past two years occurring near Eagle Pass, Texas, where more than 2,200 migrants were captured on video heading toward the U.S. overnight. These individuals crossed illegally, with sources providing cellphone videos showing a torrent of migrants rushing to the river's edge and crossing en masse from “shore to shore”.
National correspondent for Fox News, Bill Melugin reported on the large group of illegal migrants crossing in Eagle Pass on Wednesday, later posting the following clips on 𝕏 along with this caption:
“It’s a total free for all in Eagle Pass right now. Mass illegal crossing taking place for over an hour and a half. Almost 2 years to the day we saw 15,000+ Haitians under the bridge in Del Rio, we now have thousands of predominantly Venezuelans gathering under Eagle Pass bridge.”
On the U.S. side, the large group of migrants was processed by the U.S. Border Patrol. This tsunami of crossings is happening alongside the port of entry in Eagle Pass, the legal way to cross the border.
While the Biden administration's Department of Homeland Security had previously claimed that border crossings had dropped by 50% to 70% following the expiration of Title 42, there has been a recent resurgence in border crossings. This has reignited concerns about border security and immigration enforcement.
The New York Post detailed how drug cartels are fueling the barrage of illegal crossings by deliberately sending thousands of migrants a day to surrender to Border Patrol officers in various U.S. border towns. The tactic aims to tie up already overworked border agents, allowing cartels to continue their illicit activities, including drug and human smuggling, in less populated areas.
In Eagle Pass on Monday morning, a group of 2,200 migrants turned themselves over to Border Patrol officers, according to Fox News. Similarly, in El Paso, there has been a substantial upswing in migrant numbers in the last week. On Thursday alone, approximately 1,700 migrants were encountered in a 24-hour period, with multiple groups of migrants surrendering to officers daily.
These mass give-ups are fueled by cartel-promoted misinformation, including false claims about the Biden administration's CBP One app for scheduling immigration appointments. Cartels circulate rumors that anyone waiting for a CBP One appointment can turn themselves in and obtain asylum. This misinformation has led to large groups of migrants lining up to surrender and claim asylum in the U.S.
Despite the dangers and risks involved, migrants are hoping to stay in the U.S. while their asylum cases are heard—a process that often takes years. U.S. Customs and Border Protection has responded by clarifying that the border is not open to illegal migration.
Border communities, including El Paso and Eagle Pass, are bearing the brunt of this efflux, with resources stretched thin. Former El Paso City Councilmember Claudia Rodriguez noted that the influx, orchestrated by cartels, appears designed to overwhelm the system and disproportionately impacts border communities.
To address the crisis, Border Patrol agents are receiving assistance from cargo inspection agents who have been reassigned to help manage the flood of migrants. Emergency migrant shelters are being opened across the country to accommodate the growing number of arrivals, and there is a pressing need for more comprehensive immigration enforcement measures.
This sudden increase in illegal migrant crossings also highlights the vulnerability of migrants who are often desperate and susceptible to cartel tactics. The misinformation campaigns arranged by cartels have previously led to the shutdown of international bridges in El Paso, Texas, in both March and April.
The situation along the border is not limited to specific regions, as border communities across the country are grappling with the consequences of increased illegal migration. U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-Texas) has called for the enforcement of existing laws and a focus on border security.
It was back in February of this year that Fox reported that in the midst of this crisis, Vice President Kamala Harris had refocused on addressing the "root causes" of the migrant surge at the southern border. She recently announced an additional $1 billion in funding and a new initiative aimed at Central America. Private sector commitments, totaling $950 million from companies such as Nestle and Target, have raised the total funding for her "Call to Action" to $4.2 billion.
The initiative seeks to address issues like poverty, violence, corruption, and climate change, which are alleged to be driving the migrant crisis. The goals include creating 1 million new jobs by 2032 and incorporating 6 million people into the formal financial system by 2027 in Central America. Vice President Harris emphasized these efforts during a White House roundtable.
It's worth noting that Vice President Harris, according to Fox, was tasked with leading diplomatic talks to tackle these root causes in 2021. Despite being dubbed the "border czar" by Republicans, a title the White House has rejected, her focus remains on addressing the underlying issues driving migration from Central America.
As the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border continues to evolve, addressing the causation and managing the incursion of illegal migrants remains a complex challenge for U.S. authorities.
As the border crisis continues to evolve, it underscores the need for a comprehensive and effective immigration policy that addresses the catalyst of illegal migration, enhances border security, and ensures the safety of both migrants and the communities affected by these surges.
The recent deluge in illegal migrant crossings along the U.S.-Mexico border has sparked worries regarding border security and the strategies utilized by drug cartels to take advantage of weaknesses within the immigration system. Border communities are struggling to manage the influx, and there is an urgent need for comprehensive immigration enforcement measures to address the crisis effectively.