EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – Illegal border crossings in the El Paso area appear to have slowed down hours prior to the end of Title 42 asylum restrictions.
The City of El Paso’s migrant dashboard on Monday, which is based on data reported by U.S. Customs and Border Protection and various other institutions, showed only 1,334 migrant apprehensions by CBP the previous day, 636 releases of paroled migrants to area nonprofits and zero street releases. The dashboard also showed 3,095 migrants in federal custody.
That contrasts with daily reports of up to 2,400 apprehensions and 5,100 migrants in custody just last week.
A KTSM/Border Report photo crew documented only small groups of migrants crossing the Rio Grande and turning themselves over to U.S. Border Patrol agents on the U.S. side Monday.
Federal officials would only tell Border Report that numbers vary not only day by day but also by time of day. Mexican officials said they were not aware of any new trends in migrant movement toward the U.S. The officials said migrants continued to arrive at the Migrant Assistance Center near the Paso del Norte International Bridge looking for information on food or shelters in Juarez. That is a sign migrants continue to arrive in the city, the officials said.
Title 42, the Trump-era public health rule that has allowed border agents to expel more than 2 million migrants since 2020, is set to expire on Wednesday. El Paso officials are preparing for that event by holding meetings with stakeholders in preparation for the arrival of up to 5,000 people once Title 42 expulsions expire.
On Sunday evening, U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, released a statement saying the American Red Cross was “preparing to stand up” an emergency shelter operation in El Paso that could potentially shelter up to 10,000 migrants through late January.
“This operation will support the ongoing efforts by the city and county to respond to the humanitarian challenges posed by the arrival of an unprecedented number of migrants at the border with Juarez and help better prepare El Paso for the imminent repeal of Title 42,” Escobar said.
Border Report reached out to Red Cross spokeswoman Lucy Gale for details and is awaiting a response.
On Saturday, the Mayor of El Paso said he would declare a state of emergency due to the migrant crisis in El Paso. The move will allow the city to seek state funding for migrant busing, given it doesn’t want large numbers of migrants released onto its streets.
Mayor Oscar Leeser said the state could also help the city on the law enforcement side, by providing for more Department of Public Safety officers to safeguard the migrants and the community.