Some 2,400 illegal immigrants crossed the US-Mexico border at El Paso, Texas, on Sunday night. Fox News alleged that Mexican police and NGOs helped many enter the US, where they will not be detained by authorities.
Video footage shot by the channel’s reporter Bill Melugin showed “over 1,000 people” crossing the Rio Grande into El Paso, with Melugin describing the mass as “the largest single group we have ever seen.”
Figures released by El Paso authorities on Monday state that at this crossing point alone, 2,399 migrants were encountered by Customs and Border Protection agents in the preceding 24 hours, while 5,105 were in custody in the Texan city as of Monday, and 1,178 were released into the US that day.
El Paso is a popular crossing point for migrants, of whom 70% come from Venezuela, according to city statistics. Neither El Paso authorities nor the CBP detain these migrants, and once they are processed, they are then free to travel within the US, provided they show up at a future court date.
The average wait time for these court dates currently stands at 785 days, and migrants in some jurisdictions are free to remain in the US for up to 25 years until their cases are eventually heard.
This policy is known as ‘Catch and Release’, and was reinstated by President Joe Biden during his first week in office. Former President Donald Trump had suspended the Obama-era policy in 2017 and implemented the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy two years later, whereby migrants claiming asylum were deported to Mexico to await court hearings.
Record numbers of illegal immigrants have entered the US during Biden’s tenure, with CBP recording more than 2.3 million encounters along the entirety of the Mexican border during the 2022 financial year, up from 458,000 in 2020.
A separate video posted by Melugin purportedly showed Mexican police vehicles escorting busloads of migrants to Ciudad Juarez, on the Mexican side of the El Paso crossing. NGOs then allegedly received the migrants, before they went on to enter the US.
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