EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – The U.S. Border Patrol on Wednesday issued a warning to migrants that they risk swift removal if they come in between ports of entry.
The reminder from Border Patrol El Paso Sector Chief Anthony Good came as hundreds of foreign nationals crossed the Rio Grande from Juarez, Mexico and turned themselves over to agents patrolling the border wall.
“We want to remind migrants that coming into the U.S. between the ports of entry is illegal and those who do are subject to expulsion or removal,” Good tweeted.
The Department of Homeland Security has issued guidelines directing citizens of Venezuela, Haiti, Cuba and Nicaragua wishing to apply for asylum in the U.S. to do so online and not show up at the border unless they have an appointment. Migrants from Mexico, the Northern Triangle of Central America and other countries are also placed on Title 42 expulsion procedures if they don’t have a legal basis to stay in the United States.
A KTSM/Border Report photo crew on the Mexican side of the river estimated the crowd at nearly 1,000. This is at least the third time in the past month that a crowd that size gathers on the Mexican side and attempts to either make an entry or its members present themselves to border agents to claim asylum.
The Border Patrol on Tuesday told Border Report it has been averaging 1,150 daily migrant encounters in April. That number varies according to various factors, one of them being misinformation being spread through social media across the border.
“We are still operating under Title 42. Anybody amenable to Title 42 will be expelled. Anybody with no legal basis to remain in the country is either going to be placed under Title 42 or Title 8 removal procedures,” Border Patrol spokesman Fidel Baca said.
Laura Balderrama, a Venezuelan migrant carrying a small child, said she was preparing to cross the Rio Grande because an acquaintance told her she had crossed and been released earlier in the day.
“They confirmed that I could turn myself in today,” she said. “They told me they treat them well, they feed them and that they gave them a one-month permit to appear (in court). That’s why I decided to turn myself in, because I have gone through many things over here (in Mexico).”
The migrants walked along the banks of the Rio Grande and crossed into the United States at Gate 36 of the border wall, near the Fonseca Drive exit of El Paso’s Border Highway.
Juarez officials say migrants from South and Central America continue to arrive in the city daily in anticipation of the May 11 rollback of Title 42 public health expulsions in the United States. A new group of 400 was spotted getting off trains south of Juarez early Wednesday.
(Juarez freelance photojournalist Roberto Delgado contributed to this report.)