Migrants Rush Southern Border Ahead of 'Remain in Mexico' Restart A young man talks on a cellphone as he and a group of migrants who entered the United States by crossing the Colorado River from Mexico near County 13th Street in Arizona's Yuma Valley, walk east on County 14th Street in Arizona's Yuma Valley Monday morning, Dec. 6, 2021. (Randy Hoeft/Yuma Sun via AP)
By Jeffrey Rodack | Thursday, 09 December 2021 09:23 AM
Large groups of migrants have rushed the southern border to get into the United States before the restart of the "Remain in Mexico" program, according to the Washington Examiner.
The surge began at two sections of the southern border shortly after the Biden administration had announced last Thursday that it will restart the Trump-era border program that requires asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for U.S. immigration hearings.
The Examiner noted the Department of Homeland Security set Monday for the restart of the program.
The groups of migrants, sometimes numbering in the hundreds, crossed the border near Eagle Pass, Texas, and Yuma, Arizona, in hopes of getting in before the restart of the program, the Examiner said.
"Over 3,500 encountered since Friday!" said Jason Owens, the Del Rio Border Patrol chief in an Instagram post on Tuesday. "Undocumented migrants continue to enter illegally throughout our area of responsibility…and in large numbers! In one event, nearly 200 crossed together and were arrested in Eagle Pass this weekend. The numbers we have in custody continue to increase."
And the Examiner noted four border agents confirmed that some migrants told agents they wanted to get into the U.S. before the restart of the program.
Sparked by the surge, agents in Del Rio say mandatory overtime has been imposed for agents. In addition, the border patrol has been forced to close its Eagle Pass South highway checkpoint so it could assign agents to aid those people in custody, two agents said, according to the Examiner.
One agent in Del Rio said the 242-mile section of the border was "unpatrolled" due to agents taking in migrants who surrender.
"We’re probably the worst we’ve ever been since the 15,000 Haitians showed up in Del Rio," the second agent said.
President Joe Biden had ended the policy after his inauguration in January, Reuters reported. However, a federal judge ordered the restart since the administration did not follow proper procedures in ending the program.
The U.S. said it had to wait for Mexico's agreement before the policy could start again.
"The United States accepted all the conditions that we set out," said one Mexican official.