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Groups of migrants continue to wait for CBP agents at border

Posted at 5:23 PM, Apr 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-13 20:23:50-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A trend continues to brewat the United States-Mexico border. More than 86,000 migrants from all over the world have crossed the border in the San Diego area since Oct. 2022.

Over the past month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has reported hundreds of people entering the sector near the San Ysidro Port of Entry.

At the end of March, the agency says it apprehended over 250 people in 13 hours.

At the border Thursday, a group of at least three dozen people were waiting between the primary and secondary border barriers. A handful were from Costa Rica. Others came from countries in Africa. All of them were waiting to be picked up by Border Patrol agents.

The Border Patrol reports a 28% spikein migrant apprehensions compared to this time last year.

"The United States of America is a great country, which hosts a lot of immigrants — those who have big problems in their countries," said a man named Mohammed.

Mohammed is originally from a country in east Africa.

He said he made the journey because of the challenges he was facing.

"We are facing a growth in famine in the country," said Mohammed.

He's spent three days camping out waiting for agents to pick him up — alongside many others.

Retired Border Patrol agent and union leader Chris Harris said CBP cannot pick up groups fast enough because they're strained and have no room for them in processing centers.

"This is happening in San Diego. This is not Texas. This is not Yuma. This is San Diego," said Harris.

He said groups of migrants are able to enter between the two fences when the grates built into them open up.

"We have to open grates up when it rains. There's a treaty with Mexico. So, it doesn't keep the flood waters from flooding into Mexico they have to be able to come to the united states," Harris explained. "So when they open them, they come in. We can't physically prevent them."

He said the last time agents saw a trend like this was back in 2018, before migrant protection protocols were put in place.

Border advocates like Pedro Rios with the American Friends Service Committee says this is a result of policies at the border like Title 42, which has halted the asylum process.

But, when it's lifted, he doesn't think the trend will slow.

"I think, in fact, it will increase unless there is an agreement through the Biden Administration to ensure that people have a safe and humanitarian way to seek asylum in the U.S.," said Rios.

Harris also says that traffic won't slow down when Title 42 ends, which is set for May 11.