STORY: Volunteers passed oranges and other items through the bar of a U.S. border fence to migrants near San Diego.
Hundreds of people here have managed to cross one barrier at the U.S.-Mexico border only to wait at a second one, in a sort of no-man’s land, as U.S. Customs and Border Protection appeared to struggle to process them.
Adrianna Jasso is one of the volunteers and a migrant rights activist.
“There is a high level of uncertainty and some anxiety from the migrants waiting. We have met people who have been waiting here for four nights. At night it gets very cold. In the morning, it gets very cold. We have situations of moms with babies from eight months to seven months. We have young boys who are ten years old, eight years old.”
Border agents are bracing for a surge in migrants as a pandemic-era policy that allowed for the rapid deportation of asylum-seekers is about to end
Migrants have been expelled more than 2.7 million times under the rule, known as Title 42, a total that includes many repeat border-crossers. And migrants continue to amass at several points along the border despite repeated calls from President Joe Biden’s administration that the end of the policy will not result in an open border.
Volunteers say conditions at the crossings continue to worsen.
“We probably end of last week, we had a number of about 120 to 125 people. And what we see now is it could be close to the 400 or 500 number.”
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre Thursday said Biden spoke with the Mexican President about the situation and the administration remains focused on dealing with with it in a humane way.
“So what you can expect from us is that we’re going to do everything that we can and use every available tool to us, as we have been, to deal with this issue in a humane and humane way. Our focus when it as it relates to managing the border is we’re going to do this through enforcement, deterrence and diplomacy. And that’s what we have just a few tools that are available to the president. You know, and that’s because Congress has failed to act.”
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives does plan to pass a package of border security measures that would put tougher constraints on immigrant asylum-seekers, resume construction of a wall along the southwest border with Mexico and expand federal law enforcement.