On Sunday, a group of over 1,000 migrants made an attempt to rush the Paso Del Norte bridge connecting Mexico to the United States in El Paso, Texas. The group, mainly composed of Venezuelan migrants, attempted to gain access into the U.S., but crowd control measures were used to thwart their efforts.
Videos from the scene show migrants of all ages pushing toward the fenced border, with some raising their hands in the air to encourage others to move forward. In one video, the migrants pushed onto the bridge and began running for freedom while a sign above them read “Feliz Viaje,” or “happy travels.” In another video, migrants were seen gathering on a smaller bridge, while others lined up along the riverbank.
Customs and Border Protection increased their manpower in the area on the U.S. side, while the Mexican military attempted to contain the incident on the southern side of the bridge. Cameras on the bridge showed an intense buildup at the border, with several CBP agents lined up behind a barricade and razor wire.
This incident comes amid record-high migrant encounters in recent years. In 2022, there were over 2.3 million encounters, and FY 2023 is on pace to surpass that record. Republicans have pointed to the Biden administration’s rollback of Trump-era policies such as the Remain-in-Mexico policy, ending wall construction, and narrowing interior ICE enforcement as reasons for the crisis.
However, the Biden administration has pushed back on those accusations, citing the need for more border funding and a sweeping immigration reform proposal introduced on day one of the administration.