Sunday, May 19, 2024

4 US-Mexico border crossings to reopen

Four border crossings between Mexico and the United States will reopen on Thursday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced Tuesday.

The CBP said in a statement that:

  • In Eagle Pass, Texas, vehicular processing will resume at Eagle Pass International Bridge 1 at 7 a.m. local time.
  • In San Diego, California, San Ysidro’s Pedestrian West operations will resume at 6 a.m. local time.
  • In Lukeville, Arizona, the Lukeville Port of Entry operations will resume at 6 a.m. local time.
  • In Nogales, Arizona, the Morely Gate border crossing operations will resume at 10 a.m. local time.
San Ysidro’s Pedestrian West crossing between Tijuana and San Diego will resume operations at 6 a.m. local time on Thursday. (Jerry Glaser/US CBP)

The CBP closed the crossings to redeploy personnel amid a surge of migrant arrivals to the United States’ southern border. However, the number of migrants entering the U.S. between ports of entry fell in the week after Christmas.

Citing an internal U.S. government report it reviewed, Reuters reported that “U.S. border authorities arrested an average of 6,400 migrants per day over the past week, …  a steep decline from the levels before Christmas.”

Encounters with migrants exceeded 10,000 on several days earlier in December.

The CBP said it “will continue to prioritize our border security mission as necessary in response to this evolving situation.”

“We continue to assess security situations, adjust our operational plans, and deploy resources to maximize enforcement efforts against those noncitizens who do not use lawful pathways or processes – such as scheduling an appointment via [the mobile app] CBP One – and those without a legal basis to remain in the United States,” the agency said.

The CBP also closed two railway bridges between Mexico and Texas last month “in order to redirect personnel to assist the U.S. Border Patrol with taking migrants into custody,” but they reopened four days later on Dec. 22.

The decision to reopen the vehicle and pedestrian crossings in Texas, Arizona and California came a week after high-ranking Mexican and U.S. officials met in Mexico City to discuss migration.

President López Obrador said that “important agreements” were reached at the Dec. 27  meeting, and subsequently noted that railway crossings and the border bridges were being reopened “to normalize the situation” on the 3,145-kilometer-long border between Mexico and the United States.

The Eagle Pass crossing in Texas, which has become the center of a political debate over immigration, will also reopen to vehicles. (Cuartoscuro)

At a briefing with reporters on Tuesday, a senior U.S. official who spoke with the press on condition of anonymity said that the Mexican government has increased enforcement against migrants in recent weeks, including by moving some to the south of the country and resuming repatriation flights to Venezuela.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE) said in a statement on Tuesday that the Mexican government “welcomes the resumption of operations” at the four border crossings set to reopen on Thursday.

The reopening “will benefit the economies of both countries, a situation that was addressed at the December 27 meeting in Mexico City between President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and a delegation of top U.S. officials led by Secretary of State Antony Blinken; Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas; and White House Homeland Security Advisor Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall,” the SRE said.

The ministry said it had been “in constant communication with CBP authorities at the federal, state and local levels in order to receive timely information and resume commercial operations at these crossings as soon as possible.”

With upcoming elections in both Mexico and the United States, migration is set to be a major issue on both sides of the border in 2024.

A group of Republican Party lawmakers including House Speaker Mike Johnson is visiting the border at Eagle Pass on Wednesday.

On the X social media platform on Tuesday, Johnson asserted that “under President Biden, our southern border is a disaster.”

With reports from Reuters 

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