Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Source says border officials face 1,200 migrants a day in South Texas

(CNN) — Border officials in the Rio Grande Valley have encountered between 900 and 1,200 immigrants daily for the past two weeks, according to a federal law enforcement source familiar with daily operations in South Texas.

The source said the numbers were reminiscent of an increase in 2019, when agents found at least 1,000 immigrants a day.

The surge in immigrants comes as a Trump-era pandemic rule known as Title 42 is set to expire on December 21. The policy allows border agents to quickly return immigrants to Mexico.

Migration flows boom along America’s southern border 3:22

Abolition of the policy is expected to increase the number of border crossers, as authorities will no longer be able to expel them early from March 2020.

Officials drop off hundreds of immigrants at rest centers

According to the same police source, federal agencies in the Rio Grande Valley are receiving at least 200 additional migrants arriving by plane or bus from other Border Patrol areas such as Del Rio and Laredo.

The federal government’s process of moving immigrants out of congested areas to areas with room for processing is called “decompression.”

Two major South Texas nonprofits say border officials are currently leaving 600 to 750 migrants at relief centers they run in the Rio Grande Valley.

Between 300 and 400 of those immigrants are being dropped off near the Greyhound bus station in Brownsville, Texas, according to Sergio Cordoba, a board member and co-founder of the nonprofit Team Brownsville.

Córdoba said some of the immigrants he spoke with were headed for New York, Chicago, Florida, Dallas and Denver.

Federal authorities are turning 300 to 350 immigrants a day into the McAllen Relief Center, run by the Catholic charity, according to Sister Norma Pimentel, the group’s executive director.

“I anticipate a big number,” Pimentel said of Title 42’s scheduled weighting.

Cordoba says most immigrants have been able to catch buses or planes out of the Brownsville area the same day. Córdoba recalled that during the 2019 wave of immigrants, Greyhound Bus Station added more routes to help immigrants reach their final destinations on time.

Mario Garcia, supervisor of the Greyhound bus station in Brownsville, told CNN by phone that the bus station is considering adding more routes next week to accommodate holiday crowds and an expected increase in immigrant arrivals.

Thousands of immigrants await the end of Title 42 in Mexico

In a six-pillar plan released last week by the Department of Homeland Security, increasing transportation resources, such as flights and buses, were part of the plan ahead of lifting Title 42.

The plan outlined in the seven-page document also said that increased resources for the southern border would include hiring about 1,000 Border Patrol processing coordinators and adding 2,500 contractors and government agency personnel, allowing federal agents to access the area. Allows to focus on law enforcement tasks.

As Title 42 ends, more than 10,000 migrants may await in Matamoros and Reynosa, two Mexican cities across the border from the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas.

More than 2,400 immigrants enter the US illegally every day through El Paso 2:37

About 8,000 migrants will be waiting in Reynosa, with 4,000 living in two shelters and about 4,000 in other camps and surrounding areas, according to Pastor Hector Silva, who runs the shelters and has been in Reynosa for a quarter of a century. receiving migrants. ,

In Matamoros, some 88 kilometers east of Reynosa, at least 2,000 immigrants await the lifting of Title 42, according to Glady Edith Cañas, director of the non-profit organization “Ayudandos a Triunfer.” Canas says he has been helping immigrants at the border for about 11 years.

Cañas says most Venezuelan and Haitian immigrants live on the streets, in abandoned houses and on sidewalks. She describes a chaotic scene where mothers with starving and sick children could be seen.

“They’re hysterical,” Kaunas said of the state of mind of some immigrants waiting for Title 42 to be repealed. “They feel desperate.”

Cañas said the temperature of frustration among immigrants in Matamoros was raised on Wednesday by the lack of information they were receiving from immigration officials about the lifting of Title 42. She says organizations like hers can help calm immigrants by providing them with information, but authorities haven’t provided her with any official details.

CNN’s Amir Vera, Priscilla Alvarez and Phil Mattingly contributed to this report.

Nation World News Desk
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