Over 1,000 Migrants Surge into El Paso within Hours
FAIR Take | April 2023
Last Wednesday, over 1,000 illegal aliens surged into El Paso and turned themselves into Border Patrol. The near-stampede erupted after rumors circulated on social media that they would be allowed to enter the U.S. if they surrendered to the Border Patrol at a specific location. Frantic families with kids in their arms ran for miles, hoping to make it to “the front of the line.”
The crowd of illegal aliens gathered near a gate in the border wall where the social media posts directed them to go. A local news station described a Venezuelan woman walking among the droves of people with her child, who said she’d heard that Venezuelans were being allowed in the U.S. and all they had to do was go to Gate 36. Another alien crossing illegally told the reporter: “It looks like there are people who have crossed through, were trying everything possible to be able to cross, it’s the goal.”
The New York Post posted video showing families throwing children, and even pets, across the river bed that separates the U.S. from Mexico.
Wednesday’s surge into El Paso came only two days after 39 migrants died and another 28 were severely injured in a detention facility in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico – immediately across the border from El Paso. The fire was set by illegal aliens in the facility who were scheduled for deportation from Mexico. Several officials at that facility are now being investigated by the Mexican Government when video showed them walking away from the fire and taking no action to save the detainees.
The surge also casts serious doubt on the effectiveness of President Biden’s new policies—policies he has promised will reduce the chaos at border. The Biden Administration’s new asylum rule, for example, requires aliens who want to claim asylum at the southern border to schedule an appointment through the new CBP One App and present themselves at an official port of entry. According to numerous sources, however, illegal aliens in Mexico trying to get into the U.S. are frustrated that they are not able to get into the U.S. faster using the CBP One App. They find themselves competing for appointments with tens of thousands of others seeking entry and end up waiting. Others complain that the app suffers from technical difficulties and doesn’t work.
Similarly, President Biden recently adopted a new (and illegal) parole policy that allows a certain number of nationals from Venezuela, Haiti, Cuba, and Nicaragua, who would otherwise be inadmissible, to fly into the U.S. and enter the U.S. through parole. Biden claims this policy, which amounts to nothing more than simply re-routing illegal immigration, has dramatically reduced the number of illegal crossings of nationals from those countries.
The recent surges into El Paso, however, show that whatever impact his policies may have been having could be fleeting. According to the Border Patrol, the aliens who flooded El Paso on Wednesday were mostly asylum-seekers and mostly Venezuelans. The same holds true for the March 12 surge into El Paso, which was captured on video and circulated widely by various news outlets. It may well be that the Biden Administration simply isn’t handing out parole fast enough for them, or that they don’t qualify—even under the Biden Administration’s lax policy.
So despite Biden’s policies, the southern border, and especially the El Paso sector, continue to be the pathway for hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens. In the first few months of this fiscal year (FY 2023), over 1.2 million illegal aliens have already crossed into the U.S. The El Paso Sector has been hit especially hard, with more encounters of illegal aliens this year than any other sector on the southwest border and more than 2.5 times the number in the El Paso Sector for all of FY 2022. The problem is only likely to get worse in May when the Biden Administration plans to terminate Title 42, the policy that authorizes border agents to quickly expel illegal aliens back to Mexico.