More than 400 migrants surrendered to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents Monday in an open area in between two-tier fencing near El Paso, Texas. Border Patrol spokesman Joe Romero said the migrants are part of a caravan seeking asylum in the U.S.
Romero said the migrants did not breach the inside fence and were not traveling as one group. They instead surrendered in small groups composed mostly family units throughout the day.
Last night in San Diego, California at least two dozen caravan migrants climbed a border fence near the Pacific Ocean. Some ran to try to escape capture, but most surrendered to CBP agents waiting under floodlights.
Some migrants in that area are getting desperate since U.S. officials have restricted applications through the Tijuana gate to between 40 and 100 per day. Over the weekend, Tijuana closed the migrant shelter at a sports complex near the border that once held about 6,000 migrants. The migrants were moved by bus to a new shelter run by Mexican officials about 14 miles from San Ysidro port.
Commenting on the situation in California. CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said, "We have a challenging and still potentially volatile situation in Tijuana. We've got well over 7,000 migrants there. They're well organized and brought to the border by a group and we told they would be able to cross easily into the U.S. to present an asylum claim. That is not the case. We do see individuals trying to cross illegally in the San Diego sector, we are addressing that activity…Since the caravan formed in mid-October, we've seen 90,000 people come to our border. Eighty-five percent of those crossing illegally between ports of entry and all lured by the fact that our legal framework has huge gaps that create the opportunity to stay in the U.S. while awaiting a court hearing even if they don't a lawful permission or protection claim. It's a huge challenge that we need to work with Congress to address."
Updated: Tue, Dec 18th 2018 @ 4:15pm EST