CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico – Hundreds of people tried to storm the US-Mexico border on Sunday after rumors that migrants would be allowed to enter the United States. Around noon, a large crowd of mainly Venezuelans began to gather near the entrance to a bridge connecting Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, to El Paso, Texas, in the southern United States.
Frustrated by delays and difficulties in applying for asylum in the US after traveling thousands of miles through Central America and Mexico, some told AFP they thought they would be allowed entry because of a supposed “immigrant day” celebration.
City of El Paso/Handout
Pictures on social media showed a group of women and children running towards the border shouting “USA”.
They quickly encountered police with barbed wire, orange barricades and shields.
U.S. border guards “definitely” moved to close the bridge, said Enrique Valenzuela, a civil society activist who helps migrants in Juarez.
Jackson Solis, a 23-year-old Venezuelan, was among those who came to the bridge on Sunday to see if the rumor was true.
“We all ran and they put a barbed wire fence around us. They fired tear gas at us,” he said.
Solis told AFP he has been waiting six months to try to schedule an appointment to apply for asylum in the United States, where he wants to work. Appointments must now be booked through a Customs and Border Protection mobile app that was launched this year as asylum seekers must apply in advance rather than on arrival.
The Biden administration is hoping to stem the record tide of migrants and asylum seekers making the often dangerous journey organized by human traffickers to get to the United States.
In January, Dr. White House A controversial rule expansion proposal Allowing border guards to turn back more migrants arriving by land.
“Just don’t show up at the border,” President Joe Biden said in a speech at the time.
Mr. Biden took office promising asylum seekers and an end to harsh detention policies for illegal border crossers, but since he introduced new asylum eligibility rules in a February 2021 executive order, three people with direct knowledge of the controversy said. CBS News’ Camilo Montoya-Galvez Administrations differ on how liberal the regulations should be.
Some senior administration officials have expressed concern about enacting rules that could make additional immigrants eligible for asylum and make it more difficult to deport them at a time when the administration is focused on reducing illegal border crossings, sources told CBS News.
About 200,000 people try to cross the border from Mexico into the United States each month, but the number of migrants has increased after being caught by U.S. Border Patrol agents illegally entering the United States. Decreased by about 40% in January – when the Biden administration announced Refined techniques to discourage illegal crossings, according to preliminary government data obtained by CBS News last month.
Border Patrol agents recorded the apprehension of about 130,000 migrants who entered the U.S. at official ports of entry along the Mexico border in January, compared to near record 221,000 in December, preliminary domestic figures show. The number of Border Patrol apprehensions in November and October was 207,396 and 204,874, respectively.
Most are from Central and South America, and they typically cite poverty and violence in their home countries when requesting asylum.