According to the Washington Examiner, large numbers of migrants have made it to the border in an attempt to enter the United States. This happened before the restarting of the “Remain in Mexico” program.
Two sections of the southern border witnessed a surge shortly after the Biden administration announced last Thursday that they will resume the Trump-era border program, which requires asylum seekers to wait in Mexico until U.S immigration hearings are held.
Reuters reported that President Joe Biden ended his policy in January. A federal judge ordered that the program be reopened because the administration had not followed proper procedures.
The Examiner reported that the Department of Homeland Security had set Monday for the restart and that two migrants were already returned to the United States, officials confirmed Wednesday.
According to the International Organization for Migration in Mexico, these two men entered Mexico again at a border crossing in Ciudad Juarez opposite El Paso, Texas.
One of the men, Enrique Manzanares, a Nicaraguan national, stated that he felt sad but thanked God for keeping him alive.
Manzanares said to Reuters that “In the end nothing was lost.” “Some people make it, some don’t.”
Mexican officials confirmed that the restart would take place, stating that it would only be for the two migrants on Wednesday.
According to the IOM, both men were tested for COVID-19 upon their entry into Mexico. IOM representatives then took them to Ciudad Juarez shelter that had been approved by U.S. authorities and Mexican authorities.
A United Nations-backed group also demanded that MPP be stopped as soon as possible. They described it as “inhumane” and in violation of international law.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesperson said that the Department of Homeland Security initiated the court-mandated reimplementation of MPP in one location.
The spokesperson for CBP stated that DHS does not share information such as the location of initial returns and enrollment numbers “for operational security reasons”.
The Examiner reported that migrants were crossing the border between Yuma, Arizona and Eagle Pass, Texas in an attempt to get in before the program restarts.
“Over 3,500 encountered since Friday!” Jason Owens, chief of the Del Rio Border Patrol, stated this in an Instagram posting on Tuesday. “Undocumented migrants continue to enter illegally throughout our area of responsibility … and in large numbers! In one event, nearly 200 crossed together and were arrested in Eagle Pass this weekend. The numbers we have in custody continue to increase,” Owens continued.
The Examiner also noted that four border agents confirmed that some migrants had told them they wanted to enter the U.S. prior to the restart of this program.
Agents in Del Rio claim that mandatory overtime was imposed because of the surge. According to two agents, the Border Patrol was forced to close Eagle Pass South highway checkpoint to allow it to assign agents to assist those in custody.
Del Rio agent said that the 242-mile border section was unpatrolled because agents were taking in migrants who surrender.
The second agent stated that “We’re probably the worst we’ve ever been since the 15,000 Haitians showed up in Del Rio.”