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Thread: Migrants enter U.S. in large groups near El Paso as tighter asylum controls lead them

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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Migrants enter U.S. in large groups near El Paso as tighter asylum controls lead them

    Migrants enter U.S. in large groups near El Paso as tighter asylum controls lead them to new tactics

    Written by

    Alfredo Corchado, Border-Mexico correspondent Connect
    with Alfredo Corchado

    EL PASO - Migrant families have found the latest area to cross the border en masse and turn themselves in to U.S. authorities, right at the edge of Texas.

    As President Trump doubled down on his promise to build a wall to keep out drugs, gangs and caravans on Monday, a group of 311 migrants, most of them families, voluntarily turned themselves into Border Patrol agents. A Border Patrol spokesman on Wednesday said it was the first time this year that a large group crossed into the El Paso area, at the foot of the iconic Mount Cristo Rey, a 29-foot tall limestone statue of Christ that straddles two countries and three states - Chihuahua, Texas and New Mexico. It has long been a welcoming symbol of peace.

    The incident plays out as another government shutdown looms Friday over border security.

    “This is the first large group we’ve seen this year and this represents a little bit of a shift for us,” said Border Patrol spokesman Joe Romero. “Will this become a pattern for us to address later as a threat or a challenge? It’s too early to say, but we’re constantly analyzing the data.”

    The arrivals of large groups of migrants all along the Texas border -- from El Paso to Eagle Pass and McAllen -- suggests the number of people making the dangerous trek north from Central America is on the rise, or migrants are growing desperate and bolder in the face of the Trump administration’s immigration practice of turning people away at ports of entry and making them wait in Mexico to apply for asylum.

    Under the so-called metering system, only a limited number of people are allowed to present their asylum claim each day and enter the U.S. at official ports of entry. The rest are told to put their names on a waiting list and must wait in Mexico under a reluctantly-agree-to-understanding with the government there known as Remain in Mexico.

    The Trump administration has said the process is aimed at preventing ports of entry from overflowing. But it also discourages families from seeking asylum.

    Critics dispute the legality of the metering system and the overall effectiveness of a border wall in discouraging people from seeking asylum, which is an internationally recognized legal right.

    “There is an incessant mantra coming from the administration that they’re criminals, that they are a threat, that they are a danger, even though that this is not true,” said Ruben Garcia, director of Annunciation House, which helps asylum seekers.

    In Piedras Negras, across from Eagle Pass, a video by Univision Network this week showed a family, adults holding toddlers, throwing themselves into the waters of the Rio Grande and forcing Border Patrol agents to rescue them as a way to get into the U.S.

    Central American immigrants stand at the U.S.-Mexico border fence after crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico on February 01, 2019 in El Paso.
    (John Moore/Getty Images)

    An estimated 2,000 migrants, mostly from Honduras, arrived there last week, overwhelming city and state officials on the Mexico side of the border. A shelter holding them is cordoned off by Mexican authorities, preventing the migrants from leaving the premises. Tempers flared and frustrating is growing. On Wednesday Mexicans stood outside the shelter wearing gas masks.

    In the El Paso Border Patrol sector, which extends throughout large parts of West Texas and southern New Mexico, at least 28 groups of more than 100 people have turned themselves in to U.S. authorities in nearby Antelope Wells, N.M., about a 170-mile drive from El Paso, since October.

    In the last week, at least three major groups turned themselves in. One group was made up of more than 330 people. They arrived hours before the 311 turned themselves in on Monday night, about an hour after Air Force One took off from El Paso following Trump’s visit.

    Migrants show up in these remote areas of the border because they’re being asked to wait for days, weeks, perhaps months in the crowded shelters of Mexican cities and towns for permission to cross and seek asylum. Far from trying to evade U.S. authorities, they eagerly seek out federal agents to surrender and claim asylum, often citing violence back in their homelands as a reason for leaving.

    Usually, after a few days, families are released wearing court monitors to await immigration court dates. They leave cities like El Paso to reunite with family or friends across the U.S.
    The Trump administration’s policies are proving to be a boon for smugglers. Some find new customers trapped in border cities like Ciudad Juarez, Reynosa and Piedras Negras. They sell potential clients on the idea of crossing in the remote areas where border patrol authorities have little choice but to accept them immediately because of the dangers of the terrain. The migrants can then file asylum claims.

    “The smuggling of large groups within the local communities present various challenges to ensure criminals do not use these tactics to exploit vulnerabilities,” said a border patrol statement. “Criminal organizations continue to search for ways to shift border patrol resources from one area in hopes of creating gaps in coverage to move drugs and criminals through other areas.”


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  2. #2
    MW is offline
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    What's the Trump administration doing about it? It seems we're constantly be outsmarted by the human smugglers!
    Beezer likes this.

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ** Edmund Burke**

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  3. #3
    Senior Member Beezer's Avatar
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    Put them on buses and send them back home!

    We owe these people nothing!
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