Groups of migrants steadily gathering at the U.S.-Mexico border

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Migrants groups have been steadily arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border in the El Paso Sector over the past few days, according to a statement from U.S. Border Patrol.

The groups have been gathering near the Border Safety Initiative Marker (BSI) No. 36, more commonly known as ‘”Gate 36,” near Midway Drive along the Border Highway. The group, consisting of families and children, mostly of Venezuelan origin, amassed to approximately 130 people, according to Border Patrol.

These migrants have been crossing illegally and are being processed by Border Patrol under Title 8.

“We want to make sure that people understand what’s going on right now, what we’re seeing or the people turning themselves in through Gate 36, which is not a gate. That is not a port of entry designed to make a legal entry into the United States,” Border Patrol spokesperson Orlando Marrero said.

Unlike Title 42, which was a COVID-19 pandemic policy that turned away migrants based on avoiding the spread of the disease, Title 8 is an immigration law that leverages punishment for undocumented migrants who cross the border illegally, Marrero said.

“Coming into the country illegally will hinder your chances of applying for a legal way or pathway to the US,” explained Marrero.

Marrero added that crossing the border illegally will make them ineligible for legal pathways into the United States for up to five years for the first offense and 10 years for the second offense.

“If you don’t have a legal basis to enter, remain, or come into the United States legally, you will be removed and processed under Title 8,” Marrero said.

For undocumented migrants seeking a legal pathway into the United States, Border Patrol said they must present themselves at an actual port of entry or schedule an appointment using the CBP One App.

Through the first quarter of fiscal year 2024, Border Patrol in the El Paso Sector, which also includes New Mexico, has recorded a significant decrease in migrant encounters compared to fiscal year 2023.

During October 2023, they reported a 58% decrease in encounters compared to October 2022. They also have recorded an average of 717 daily encounters through November, compared to a daily average of 2,700 migrant encounters last year during the same period.

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