- The US Customs and Border Protection agency released a video Thursday that it said showed 1,036 migrants crossing the US-Mexico border in “the largest group ever encountered.”
- The influx of migrants has overwhelmed Border Patrol officers, who are tasked with arresting migrants they encounter and sheltering them for days at a time while they await processing for asylum claims.
- President Donald Trump, who has vowed to halt the flow of migrants, has lashed out at Mexico and threatened to impose 5% tariffs on all Mexican goods imported by the US unless the country prevents Central American migrants from reaching the US border.
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The US Customs and Border Protection agency released a striking video Thursday that it says shows 1,036 migrants crossing the US-Mexico border illegally, apparently ducking under fencing to reach the American side.
CBP officials called it “the largest group ever encountered by Border Patrol agents” and framed it as the latest evidence of a “crisis” amid a surge of Central American migrant families who have recently sought asylum in the US.
The video “demonstrates the severity of the border security and humanitarian crisis at our southwest border,” the CBP’s deputy commissioner, Robert Perez, said in a statement.
The influx of migrants has swamped Border Patrol agents, who are tasked with arresting migrants they encounter and sheltering them for days at a time while they await processing for asylum claims to stay in the US.
The government has been facing fierce criticism that the facilities where migrants are held after they cross the border are inhumane
Existing Border Patrol facilities have proved insufficient for holding massive numbers of migrants – particularly children – and have been fiercely criticised for their shoddy conditions.
1,036 individuals were apprehended by El Paso Sector Border Patrol as part of a large group yesterday morning. This is the largest group ever encountered illegally crossing the border. All the individuals were from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. https://t.co/bAIYh4XRFf pic.twitter.com/HybMuBvcTj
— CBP (@CBP) May 30, 2019
Photos of such facilities have shown migrants packed into open-air enclosures, in some cases sleeping directly on the ground and sheltering themselves under tents or foil blankets.
CNN reported Friday that a report from the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general said migrants in an El Paso, Texas, facility were standing on toilets to get breathing space because it was so crowded.
Since December, five migrant children have died shortly after crossing the border – some while they were still in Border Patrol custody.
All of the migrants shown in the video were from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, officials said. The group was said to have consisted of 934 members of families, 63 unaccompanied children, and 39 single adults.
President Donald Trump, who has vowed to halt the flow of migrants, has lashed out at Mexico for what he describes as a failure to prevent Central Americans from reaching the US border. On Twitter on Thursday, he threatened to impose tariffs starting at 5% on Mexican goods imported by the US “until the Illegal Immigration problem is remedied.”
- Read more:
- ‘We’ve seen this coming’: Why migrant children are dying in Border Patrol custody
- Aerial photos show migrants sleeping on the ground in makeshift tent encampment at a Texas Border Patrol station
- Border Patrol just set up 2 new ‘tent cities’ for migrants. Here’s a look inside.
- Border Patrol found a crying 3-year-old alone in a cornfield with a phone number written on his shoes