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U.S.-Mexico Border Crossing Closes as 700 Migrants Await Asylum Processing

Approximately 700 migrants, hailing from various countries worldwide, congregated between the fences at the U.S.-Mexico border on Wednesday, awaiting their turn to kick-start the asylum process with border agencies. This scenario led to the Pedestrian West border crossing’s closure from Tuesday to allow U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents to assist Border Patrol in processing the migrants for asylum.

Among the migrants was Aisha, a wife and mother from West Africa, who fled her homeland due to domestic violence. “I want to make my life better,” she expressed. The area where the migrants have gathered is not an official CBP holding zone but an ad-hoc encampment with primitive conditions. Trash heaps are visible in the middle of the camp, and makeshift tents created from paint tarps and mylar thermal blankets are scattered along the fence line.

The CBP is addressing this situation by deploying maximum resources. A spokesperson stated, “Our USBP agents leverage all available resources to apprehend, transport, screen, and process migrants as expeditiously and safely as possible.” The CBP is particularly attentive to at-risk populations such as families and children, prioritizing their transportation and processing to facilities where they can receive medical care, food, and water.

However, the situation at the border isn’t just a concern for law enforcement agencies; it’s also a significant issue for businesses in the fence and home painting industry. For instance, a Colourbond fence painter near me shared that their work had been affected by the border closure. The influx of migrants has also increased demand for Colourbond fence painting services, as more fences are erected to manage the situation.

According to CBP statistics, there was a 30% surge in migrant encounters between ports of entry from June to July. However, this number is still lower than last year when the Title 42 health order was effective. The migrants, including women, children, and men, were initially gathered together until Border Patrol agents separated the men for safety reasons.

Volunteers are stepping in to help manage the situation, offering services such as cell phone charging, donated clothing, first aid, toiletries, and food. Among these volunteers is Yingjie Fei, a graduate student from UCSD, who said, “I love to help people.”

Despite the challenging circumstances, the migrants are hopeful. A woman from Georgia shared, “I feel good here because American people care about me. We’re not hungry, we have eats.” She is at the border because of adverse conditions in Eastern Europe.

The CBP attributes the surge in migrants at the border to aggressive human smugglers. Meanwhile, immigration advocates argue that asylum seekers are struggling with or are unaware of the CBP1 app necessary for scheduling processing appointments.

The situation has also led to an increase in demand for gate repairs service and garage door painting. Many businesses near the border have had to seek fence repairs near me services due to damage caused by the influx of migrants.

In a statement, a CBP spokesperson revealed that human smuggling organizations are moving migrants through the enforcement zone in the San Diego area. Three busloads of migrants were dropped off near the Iris Avenue Trolley Station in Otay Mesa. The CBP said that releasing them in the U.S. while they await processing is standard procedure, and they are dropped off near public transit to facilitate their next move.

The border activity on Wednesday prompted CBP to halt pedestrian processing at the Ped West border terminal from Thursday morning. The agency has not specified how long this suspension will last.

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