SAN DIEGO (KGTV)— As thousands of migrants seeking asylum enter Texas, including children and teenagers, the U.S. Border Patrol’s San Diego sector is helping with processing some of them at local centers.
ABC 10News received the following statement from Customs and Border Protection:
“Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Rio Grande Valley Sector (RGV) on the Texas border with Mexico has seen an increase in encounters. In order to process individuals as safely and expeditiously as possible, U.S. Border Patrol in San Diego Sector is assisting RGV by processing some of these subjects at our respective processing centers.
The border is not open, and CBP is still operating under Centers for Disease Control guidelines for the COVID-19 pandemic. CBP is making every effort to remain within CDC guidelines and mitigate long periods of processing and holding to minimize potential exposure to our workforce, those in custody, and the community. Once processing is complete, these individuals will be expeditiously transferred out of CBP custody.”
Flights have been arriving in San Diego from Texas this week.
According to the latest statistics posted on CBP’s website, there has been a rise in migrant apprehensions in the last year when looking at February 2020 and February 2021; including A 64-percent increase in encounters with unaccompanied minors, a 138 percent increase for single adults, and a 13 percent decrease for family units.
“They don’t leave their home country because they want to; they leave their home country because they need to. It could be environmental situations, violence, threats,” said Enrique Morones, the executive director of Gente Unida, a human rights border coalition.
Morones said so many migrants risk it all, fleeing their home countries searching for a better life, pointing out the deadly crash in Holtville earlier this month that claimed 13 lives.
“These are human beings, and we need to treat them with dignity and respect. Crossing borders because of this situation is an international human right, and it should be respected,” said Morones.
According to a CBP spokesperson in San Diego, what happens next to each migrant after being processed depends on each individual situation, although many are sent to Mexico.
“We do get contacted by several organizations and sometimes by the families themselves, and we lend our help in any way we can,” said Morones.
He said help includes referring attorneys and helping locate shelter as some await immigration hearings.
The Biden Administration has been criticized by some lawmakers, including Congressman Darrell Issa, for the crisis at the border.
In an exclusive interview with ABC News’ Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos, President Joe Biden asked migrants not to come into the U.S. at this time.
“I can say quite clearly, don’t come over. And the process of getting set up, and it’s not going to take a whole long time, is to be able to apply for asylum in place. So don’t leave your town or city or community. We’re going to make sure we have facilities in those cities and towns run by department of -- by DHS and also access with HHS, the Health and Human Services, to say you can apply for asylum from where you are right now,” said Biden.