Texas border town at 'breaking point' as record surge of 11,000 migrants reach US border in 24 hours

Tuesday, 26 September 2023

A record surge of 11,000 immigrants have reached Mexico's border with the US in one day, according to border officials.

The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) told Fox News the encounters at the south west border marked the "single highest day in recent memory".

It comes amid claims by Republicans that America is in the midst of an unprecedented immigration crisis, and days after the CBP reveals illegal crossings of the southern border have reached 5.8 million since 2021.

The White House has insisted the Biden administration's plan to stem the influx of illegal migrants is working.

The dramatic increase in migrants crossing the southern border has pushed the city of El Paso, Texas, to "breaking point," with more than 2,000 people per day seeking asylum, exceeding shelter capacity and straining resources, its mayor said on Saturday.

"The city of El Paso only has so many resources and we have come to ... a breaking point right now," Mayor Oscar Leeser said at a news conference.

The arrival of largely Venezuelan asylum seekers is part of a larger swell of immigrants who traveled dangerous routes on buses and cargo trains to Mexican border towns near San Diego, California, and the Texas cities of El Paso and Eagle Pass.

Migrant numbers had plummeted in recent months, and the recent rise has generated a new wave of political attacks on U.S. President Joe Biden heading into the 2024 election.

Lesser said El Paso plans to open a new shelter, and on Saturday chartered five buses to take migrants to New York, Chicago and Denver.

Republican governors in Texas and Florida have been criticized for sending migrants to cities perceived as liberal such as New York and Sacramento. But Leeser, a Democrat, said all of the migrants on the El Paso buses were going voluntarily to the cities of their choice.

Leeser said the Biden had been a good partner. But he said the overall U.S. immigration system was broken.

Many migrants from Venezuela, he said, lacked transportation to their desired destinations, while El Paso's current shelter houses only 400 people, and must also be available to help the homeless.

As recently as six weeks ago, about 350 to 400 people were crossing into El Paso per day, but the past few days have brought 2,000 or more.

Over the past 10 days, the city has worked with the U.S. Border Patrol to provide shelter for 6,500 people, Leeser said.

About two-thirds of those crossing into El Paso currently are single men, he said. About 32% are families and just 2% are unaccompanied children.

Migrants wait to be processed at border crossing, El Paso, Texas / Credit: Getty Images

The Department of Defence has begun ramping up resources at the border and 800 active-duty personnel will join the 2,500 National Guard members already serving.

A meeting last week between Mexican officials, the CBP and Ferromex, a Mexican rail operator which is often used by illegals to reach the border, saw Mexico vow to take several actions to deter migrants crossing into the U.S.

The agreement included a plan to deport illegal migrants to their home countries by land and air and would see Mexican officials carry out negotiations with the governments of Venezuela, Brazil, Nicaragua, Colombia and Cuba to confirm receipt of their citizens deported from the US-Mexico border.

The CBP has revealed nearly 20 million illegals now reside in the U.S., costing taxpayers $150.6 billion per year, up from the $116 billion estimate in 2017.

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