Hundreds of Venezuelan migrants have been caught on camera crossing the US-Mexico border in recent days after rumors circulated that transport to Canada was being offered.
About 500 people were counted during the Wednesday night and Thursday morning near El Paso.
Several said they had heard of transportation north to Canada being offered.
“They said they would only take families,” a Venezuelan woman in her 20s said KTSM / Border Reportas she walked to the Rio Grande with her husband.
The chief of border police for the El Paso sector tweeted this photo, saying they were Venezuelan migrants who crossed from Mexico on Wednesday night
Another said there was confusion over whether the rules had changed.
“There is conflicting information. We don’t know what’s really going on,” she said.
“They told us (in Juarez) that they would help us get to Canada.
“We were happy, but they played with our feelings. They gave us some hope that we would be welcome. They told us, “You’re going to walk to Gate 36. You’re welcome there. We’ll help you with your process.”‘
Eric Adams, the mayor of New York City, has authorized the distribution of free bus tickets to migrants in his city who want to head north to the Canadian border.
Adams has said he only busses the migrants as a means of helping deliver them to their desired location — the same line of reasoning used by states near the southern border to get the immigrants to New York City. transport.
Since last spring, more than 43,000 asylum seekers have flooded the Big Apple, prompting the city to set up emergency shelters in hotels and build massive housing for the migrants.
“Those who want to go elsewhere, not that we push or coerce them, if they want to go elsewhere, we help with the re-ticketing process,” Adams told Fox News of his program, a partnership with the Catholic Charities group.
“We found that people had other destinations, but they were forced to come to New York City on their own, and we help interview those who want to go elsewhere.
“Some want to go to Canada, some want to go to warmer states, and we’re here for them as they continue to chase this dream.”
However, border officials insisted there had been no change in policy, and Title 42 — the pandemic-era ruling that allowed the government to immediately return migrants to Mexico — remained in effect.
“More than 500 migrants, mostly from #Venezuela, attempted to illegally enter the country last night through El Paso, Texas,” tweeted Peter Jaquez, Chief of the El Paso Sector of the Border Patrol.
“Our authority to deport migrants under Title 42 has NOT changed.
“Migrants from Venezuela, as well as many other countries, are still eligible for deportation.”
Border patrol agents are at work along the border, in a photo shared by El Paso’s sector chief
Hundreds of migrants – Venezuelan according to border police chief – queue at border to be processed
Agents detain migrants who illegally entered the US on Wednesday night
Migrants crossed the border after wading through the Rio Grande
Three hundred miles east of El Paso, in the small town of Sanderson, locals report that the number of migrants arriving in their county is soaring.
Sanderson, the seat of Terrell County — home to 800 people, just north of Big Bend National Park — recorded 7,400 migrants arrested last year.
Sheriff Thaddeus Cleveland told it The New York Post the number represented a 540 percent increase in inmates since 2020, saying his county was overwhelmed and needed more staff.
However, the Biden administration insists that the situation is improving.
On Friday, the Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP) said border encounters for January were down 42 percent compared to the previous month.
CBP said the drop was a sign that a new initiative announced on Jan. 5 was working.
The number of encounters with migrants in January was at its lowest level since February 2021
Joe Biden launched a scheme to take in up to 30,000 migrants a month from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela, provided they report to official migration centers outside the US borders.
The plan would also allow for the expulsion of as many migrants as possible from those countries who have crossed illegally.
“The January monthly operational update clearly illustrates that new border enforcement measures are working, with the lowest number of border patrol encounters between ports of entry since February 2021,” said CBP Acting Commissioner Troy Miller.
“Those trends continued in February, with the average number of Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans declining.”
The number of encounters with Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans dropped from a seven-day average of 1,231 on the day of the announcement on Jan. 5 to 59 on Jan. 31.
The numbers mark a 95 percent drop in just over three weeks.
By January 23, Nicaraguan arrivals had fallen 91 percent compared to the previous month, and Cuban arrivals had fallen 85 percent.
Arrivals in Haiti fell 32 percent, month over month, and arrivals in Venezuela fell 9 percent.