US sees decline in illegal border crossings after Mexico increases enforcement


EAGLE PASS, Texas (AP) — Daniel Bermudez’s family had fled Venezuela and were headed to the U.S. to seek asylum when the freight train they were traveling through Mexico was stopped by immigration officials.

His wife tried to explain that his family was allowed to go to the U.S. Instead, they took them to Mexico’s southern border as part of an increase in enforcement actions that U.S. officials say led to a rapid decline. have contributed to illegal border crossing,

In addition to deboarding migrants from trains, Mexico also resumed flight and bus service to the southern part of the country and began ferrying some home. Venezuela,

Even if temporary, the decline in illegal crossings is welcome news for the White House. President Joe Biden’s administration is locked in conversation With Senate negotiators on banning asylum and $110 billion in aid ukraine And israel Hanged in limbo.

Bermudez said his wife was separated from her family while he called authorities to collect his stepchildren and their belongings. He wanted to flee, but his wife said he should not do so because they had followed the procedure by making an appointment with US immigration officials.

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“I told him, ‘Don’t trust them. Let’s go into the brush,'” Bermudez said, adding that other migrants have fled. She recalled him saying to her, “Why should they send us back if we have an appointment?” Are you?”

Last week, Bermudez, her stepchild and two other relatives waited for her at a shelter in the Mexican border city of Piedras Negras as she took the bus, still hoping to make a date.

Mexico’s immigration agency dispatched at least 22 flights from its border area with the US to southern cities during the last 10 days of December, according to Witness at the Border, an advocacy group that tracks flight data. Most were from Piedras Negras, which is just across the range at Eagle Pass. texas,

Mexico also scored two runs Evacuation flights to Venezuela With 329 migrants. The stretch was interrupted by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to Mexico City on December 28 to face unprecedented crossings for the United States.

Arrests for illegal crossings from Mexico into the US fell to about 2,500 on Monday, according to US officials, down from more than 10,000 on several days in December. In Tucson, the Border Patrol’s busiest region, there were a total of 13,800 arrests during the seven-day period ending Friday, down 29% from 19,400 two weeks earlier. ArizonaSector head John Modlin.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection had to reopen the port of entry in Lukeville, Arizona, on Thursday after the fall one month closure On the most direct route from Phoenix to its nearest beaches. The US also resumed operations at Eagle Pass and three other locations.

Maverick County Judge Ramsey English Cantu said merchants in Eagle Pass, a town of about 30,000 people, saw a “big drop” in sales while a bridge was closed to vehicle traffic so border agents could help migrants. To be re-appointed.

“We survive largely on everything that comes from the Mexican side,” he said.

Last month, CBP reopened freight crossings at Eagle Pass and El Paso, Texas five day shutdown US officials said it was a response to about 1,000 migrants who boarded the same train through Mexico before trying to cross the border.

In Piedras Negras on Thursday, about 200 migrants were being held in the Casa del Migrante, down from more than 1,500 recently.

Among them was Manuel Rodriguez, 40, who said his family would miss his appointment to seek asylum that was made through. US Government’s CBP One App, He said the appointment was registered with his in-laws, who were deported to Venezuela by authorities after they boarded the bus they were on.

“It was all in his name and he lost everything,” Rodriguez said.

Proposals being discussed by White House and Senate negotiators include a new removal authority that would deny asylum rights if illegal border crossings reach a certain threshold. Any such authorization would almost certainly depend on Mexico’s willingness to deport non-Mexicans who entered the U.S. illegally, which it now does on a limited scale.

Mexico’s support was key to ending Trump-era policies that forced 70,000 asylum seekers wait in mexico To have a hearing in a US immigration court and to be denied the right to seek asylum During the COVID-19 pandemic,

Andrew Seale, president of the Migration Policy Institute in Washington, DC, cautioned against exaggerating Mexico’s role in the recent decline in traffic. Panama reported that less than 25,000 migrants arrived on foot Darien Forest In December, about half of October’s levels and this is a sign that fewer people are leaving South America for the U.S. Migration typically decreases in December between the holidays and cold weather.

“The U.S. is able to rely on Mexico for short-term enforcement impact on migration at the border, but the long-term impacts are not always clear,” Seely said.

Spaghette reported from San Diego. Christopher Sherman in Mexico City contributed.

Copyright 2024 The associated Press, All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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