Texas Border City Struggles with Massive Migrant Arrival


Authorities claim that thousands of migrants have suddenly started entering the United States from Mexico, challenging a section of the border generally prepared to accommodate huge groups of individuals escaping poverty and violence. On Saturday, shelters in a Texas city scrambled to find space for them.


Brownsville, Texas’s southernmost city, appeared unprepared for the speed of arrivals, straining social services and forcing an overnight shelter to take the unusual step of turning people away. Since last week, more than 15,000 migrants, largely from Venezuela, are believed to have illegally crossed the river close to Brownsville.


According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection authorities, that is a significant increase from the 1,700 migrants that Border Patrol personnel encountered in the first two weeks of April.
According to Gloria Chavez, chief of the U.S. Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley Sector, our logistical difficulty is significant.

It took time to be evident why there had been an increase. Chavez claimed that migrants had experienced frustration due to relying on government software that has numerous bugs and prevents them from requesting asylum at a port of entry. Some migrants who crossed this week cited additional drivers, such as cartel threats, before the sudden increase.

The increase occurs as the Biden administration prepares to lift the limits on asylum imposed during the outbreak. U.S. authorities say the number of unlawful crossings from Mexico daily might increase to 13,000 from roughly 5,200 in March.

Other communities also deal with unexpectedly huge influxes of migrants, some located far from the southern U.S. border. This week, authorities in Chicago reported a tenfold increase in the number of migrants arriving in the city. As many as 100 migrants have started arriving daily and seeking shelter in police stations.

Brownsville is across the Rio Grande from Matamoros, Mexico, where 2,000 individuals live in a large encampment of temporary tents while waiting to enter the United States.

A few tents were burned down and damaged last week. Some migrants have claimed that gangs supported by cartels are to blame, but a government official hypothesized that a group of migrants impatient with their long wait may have started the fires.

According to Roxana Aguirre, 24, a Venezuelan immigrant waiting at a Brownsville bus station on Friday, the cartel was acting out of desperation. “You couldn’t walk down the street without checking behind you.”
Families from China, Haiti, Cuba, Venezuela, and other countries wandered through downtown Brownsville while lugging their things and using their telephones.

While some people waited for their buses, others were stuck in limbo, waiting for family members before making travel arrangements but having nowhere to stay. One Venezuelan couple claimed they spent the night in a parking lot after being turned away from an overnight shelter.

This week, Brownsville officials declared a disaster, following other Texas border cities that had previously done the same in response to unexpectedly large migrant influxes, such as El Paso last year.

According to Martin Sandoval, spokesman for the Brownsville Police Department, “We’ve never seen these numbers before.”

The United States Department of Homeland Security is getting ready to stop using a public health authority known as Title 42, which allows them to deny asylum requests. As a result, resources are being redistributed at the border, one of the busiest sectors with strong Border Patrol human resources levels.

A rule that has been in place since March 2020 and prohibits asylum claims under U.S. and international law on the grounds of halting the spread of COVID-19 has resulted in the administration expelling migrants 2.7 million times. On May 11, when the United States lifts its final COVID-related restrictions, the public health rule, also known as Title 42, is supposed to end.

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