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Ongoing border crisis heightened after migrant breach

Border+Patrol+agents+gather+as+they+head+towards+a+group+of+immigrants.
Gianluca Cuevas
Border Patrol agents gather as they head towards a group of immigrants.

Hundreds of migrants breached the razor wire barrier alongside the Texas-Mexico border in El Paso March 21 in hopes of surrendering themselves to U.S Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents to get processed.  

According to the El Paso Times, some migrants had been camping out for up to three days while the Texas National Guard patrolled the area.  

As the migrants overcame the barrier Thursday morning, the National Guard was not able to hold them back. Migrants told El Paso Times that the National Guard soldiers were forcefully pushing them back behind the barbed wire which caused fights to break out between migrants and soldiers.  

By the afternoon, the National Guard was able to get the situation under control and CBP moved all migrants from the site. 

Following the breach, Gov. Greg Abbott released a statement of X, addressing the situation. 

“About the surge of illegal immigrants in El Paso: The TX National Guard & Dept. of Public Safety quickly regained control & are redoubling the razor wire barriers. DPS is instructed to arrest every illegal immigrant involved for criminal trespass & destruction of property,” Abbott said.  

Spectrum News 1 shared a statement from CBP as they addressed how it would not have been possible to arrest the migrants before they breached the wire and how there must be consequences for such actions. 

“There are consequences to crossing the border illegally, and CBP continues to enforce United States immigration laws. Individuals and families without a legal basis to remain in the U.S. are subject to removal and are subject to a minimum five-year bar on reapplying for admission and potential criminal prosecution if they subsequently re-enter without authorization,” CBP said.  

U.S. Border Patrol continues to monitor the situation and has increased patrols in the area. 

The breach comes amidst the ongoing border crisis with many of the migrants being from Venezuela and seeking asylum in the U.S with The United Nations Refugee Agency reporting that 500,000 have reached the U.S. so far.  

In a report released by the city of El Paso in 2022, the migrant crisis in El Paso began in 2018 with the surge starting August 2022 which saw up to 1,000 migrants released into the city per day. The city provides a Migrant Situational Awareness Dashboard which states that the daily community release is currently at 822 migrants and CBP has a daily average of 1,134 migrant encounters. 

The breach also comes at a tumultuous time with the controversial Texas Senate Bill 4 (SB4). According to the Austin American-Statesman, SB4 would allow state and local police to detain, arrest, and deport people suspected of crossing into the U.S illegally. It would also allow judges to order migrants back to Mexico or give harsher criminal penalties.  

The bill was supposed to take effect March 19 as the U.S Supreme Court allowed it to go into effect. However, hours after it went into effect, it was suspended by The 5th Circuit.  

The U.S. Justice Department and immigration advocacy groups argued that the bill could cause an increase in racial profiling in Latin and Hispanic communities. 

The border crisis has been gaining more attention from voters as Gallup News reports that in their survey, immigration ranked as the most important problem to American voters for this upcoming presidential election.

Ximena Cordero is a staff reporter and may be reached at [email protected].

 

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About the Contributors
Ximena Cordero
Ximena Cordero, Staff Reporter
Ximena Cordero is a freshman at The University of Texas at El Paso. She is a staff reporter at The Prospector. She is majoring in communications and deciding between a minor in creative writing or English literature. After graduating, she would like to pursue a master's degree, work as a journalist or communication specialist, and maybe even write her own books. She wants a career that will allow her to explore the world and see new perspectives and cultures.
Gianluca Cuevas
Gianluca Cuevas, Photographer
Gianluca Cuevas is a staff photographer for The Prospector. He is a senior majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in mathematics. He plans to work in the automotive industry designing cars/mechanic in the F1. He also has his small photography business 365elements which he plans to continue to grow.
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