Some migrants are saying that the reason they stormed the southern border Sunday was due to issues with President Joe Biden’s recently-introduced program to admit some of them legally at ports of entry, according to multiple reports.
Hundreds of migrants attempted to rush the Paso del Norte bridge into El Paso, Texas, while some of them saying they were upset with glitches on the CBP One phone app that allows them to book appointments for entry interviews, the El Paso Times reported Sunday, citing videos of the group. Migrants said the crowd formed over their frustrations with the app, along with a post circulating Facebook advertising that migrants could enter the U.S. via the ports in extreme instances or if they bring kids, according to Fox News.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) deployed “port hardening measures” to “temporarily” prevent the large crossing, the agency said in a statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation Sunday.
BREAKING: Our contact in Juarez, MX tells us a massive group of at least 1,000 migrants just attempted to rush a port of entry in El Paso in an effort to get into the United States. Video shows them pushing past the Mexican side of Paso Del Norte bridge. Awaiting CBP comment. pic.twitter.com/lxriIB3TSm
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) March 12, 2023
“CBP is working to maintain the legal and orderly flow of entry to the U.S. while protecting the safety and security of legitimate trade and travel, CBP facilities and the CBP workforce,” CBP said after the incident.
“The CBP response included the deployment of physical barriers to restrict entry. As of 5 pm there is no traffic processing occurring at PDN,” the agency added.
Biden introduced CBP One as a legal pathway for migrants seeking exemptions from Title 42, a Trump-era public health order used to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, in January. Since then, migrants have reported technical issues with the app.
Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey raised the issue in a letter he wrote to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Feb. 21.
“This expanded use of the CBP One app raises troubling issues of inequitable access to — and impermissible limits on — asylum, and has been plagued by significant technical problems and privacy concerns. DHS should shelve the CBP One app immediately,” Markey wrote. “Rather than mandating use of an app that is inaccessible to many migrants, and violates both their privacy and international law, DHS should instead implement a compassionate, lawful, and human rights centered approach for those seeking asylum in the United States.”
In fiscal year 2022, CBP encountered more than 2.3 million migrants at the southern border. The agency encountered more than 870,000 migrants between October 2022 and January 2023 at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
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