Authorities said an El Paso, Texas, bridge where federal agents clashed with large groups of migrants trying to cross the border was safe and free-flowing Sunday night.
Large groups of angry migrants trying to cross into the US on the Paso del Norte bridge were met with traffic barriers, barbed wire and officers in riot gear, video of the clashes showed.
The afternoon clashes prompted officials to close the northbound lanes of the bridge, US Customs and Border Protection spokesman Roger Maier said in a statement.
The «harbor tightening measures» on the bridge began around 1:30 p.m., he said.
“A large group of people formed on the Mexican side of the border and approached the international border, posing a potential threat to make a mass entry,” Maier said.
Similar attempts to cross the border also took place at two other land ports in the region, the Bridge of the Americas and the Stanton crossing, prompting authorities to erect temporary barriers at those locations on Sunday afternoon as well, it said. CBP.
Video captured moments when angry migrants yelled and shook CBP officers dressed in riot gear, with concertina wire separating the two sides.
President Joe Biden is expected to travel Monday to the nation’s largest city along the US-Mexico border, San Diego, to meet with the prime ministers of the United Kingdom and Australia. No trips to the barrier were scheduled.
Two sources familiar with the Biden administration’s border planning said last week that a controversial Trump administration policy was being considered to help deter immigrants from overwhelming ports and enforcement efforts.
The Trump administration’s «family detention» policy, which holds migrants and their children when apprehended at the border, was rejected by the Biden administration shortly after Biden took office.
Amid pressure on border security from Republicans and the conclusion in May of a pandemic-era loophole that allows officials to turn away asylum seekers, Biden has been looking for novel ways to control migration. northward.
El Paso officials, stating that their city was experiencing an immigration crisis that began in April, have said a majority of immigrants at regional crossings they are from Venezuela.
Venezuelans are fleeing the high cost of living, high unemployment and political turmoil, experts has said.
Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, the ranking member of the Appropriations subcommittee on homeland security, criticized migrants for Sunday’s unruly display.
«I know they’re tired of waiting and all that,» he told the NBC affiliate. KTSM of El Paso, «but this kind of thing just doesn’t help her case.»
juliet arcodia contributed.