Border Patrol agents in Texas released dramatic photographs Friday showing hundreds of migrants who had massed across the US-Mexico frontier based on spurious promises from smugglers that they would be allowed to remain in America.
More than 1,000 migrants, most of them from Venezuela, surrendered to officials in the El Paso sector earlier this week, according to a statement from US Customs and Border Protection.
One photograph showed a Border Patrol agent leaning forward to speak to a young child while hundreds of migrants who had entered the US illegally looked on.
Another showed a group of migrants sitting on the ground after surrendering
Earlier in the week, a Post photographer exclusively documented scenes of desperate migrants tossing their children across the Rio Grande, which separates the US from Mexico.
Rumors had circulated on social media that the migrants would be allowed entry into the US if they surrendered themselves to immigration authorities.
In addition to Venezuelans, Border Protection officials also documented migrants from Nicaragua, Colombia and Ecuador in a surge that began Wednesday afternoon.
“Many of the migrants claimed that they received information regarding CBP immigration policies via various social media platforms,” the CPB statement said. “Migrants indicated social media posts stated that if they surrendered to agents in El Paso at a certain location, they would be allowed to remain in the United States. That information was not correct.”
Border Patrol agents began to encounter groups of about 30 people who had illegally crossed at one time.
“Throughout the night and into the early morning hours, agents continued to encounter groups attempting to make illegal entry into the United States,” the agency said.
The migrants were expelled from the US, most of them under Title 42, the Trump-era policy that allows authorities to deport migrants illegally crossing the border.
“US Border Patrol in El Paso Sector will continue to fully enforce immigration laws at our border,” El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Anthony Scott Good said in the press release. “People should not listen to the lies of smugglers, who often take advantage of vulnerable migrants by providing false information in order to profit from charging migrants to cross the border illegally.”
Officials fear a new surge of migrants along the nearly 2,000-mile stretch of the border with Mexico after May 11 when Title 42, the public health measure which was initially implemented to control the spread of COVID, is set to expire.