EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Hundreds of migrants ran onto the Paso Del Norte International Bridge after reportedly hearing rumors that they would be allowed to cross.
The migrants could be seen yelling behind concertina wire on the bridge while U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents and members of the CBP Mobile Field Force were on the other side blocking off the bridge.
“In addition to moving physical barriers to secure the boundary, CBP personnel also fired pepper balls directly into the pavement ahead of the advancing crowd to saturate the area and deter any further northward movement.“U.S. Customs and Border Protections statement
The director of the Border Network for Human Rights said the migrants heard rumors they could cross and are getting frustrated waiting in Juarez.
“It’s going to continue happening; many of them do not have a solution. That’s why we’re asking the Biden Administration to open other venues and other channels for the people who are already at the border,” said Fernando Garcia, the director of the Border Network for Human Rights.
One migrant from Venezuela who was at the bridge on Sunday explained that frustration is bubbling up to the surface.
“On the daily 500 migrants come by train and the application, there’s only space for 10 people; only 10 people can cross legally and there are 500 people coming by train,” said Jose Alvarez, from Venezuela.
Alvarez refers to the CBP One app process, requiring migrants to apply online before coming to the border.
U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, spoke about the issues with the app.
“We’ve been concerned about issues with the app as well, members of Congress and I, so we’ve been working with the Department of Homeland Security,” Escobar said.
That’s in addition to the challenges along the border of dealing with plenty of misinformation and rumor that seem to be rampant.
“It’s not just here at the border, but it really has been throughout every country south of us, that social media has been used really to fuel a lot of rumors and false hope among migrant populations,” Escobar said.
The Republican Party of El Paso County said the migrants actions should not be tolerated.
“Congress and our President must take immediate action to secure the Southern Border.
The status quo is granting dire public safety consequences,” a statement from the Republican Party of El Paso said.
The mayor of Juarez said he is running out of patience during a press conference on Monday.
“They (migrants) don’t understand the history of border towns. We must say that our patience is running out,” Juarez Mayor Cruz Perez Cuellar said on Monday.
The Juarez police chief explained that the migrants thought they would be automatically accepted into the U.S.
“It was impossible to have a dialog with them,” Juarez Police Chief Cesar Omar Muñoz.
Munoz added that Juarez police are present at all border crossings to prevent something like what happened on Sunday from happening again.
By Sunday evening, the Paso Del Norte bridge was back open for traffic in both directions.