EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego is calling the Department of Homeland Security’s new enforcement of sending Venezuelans back to Mexico only a temporary solution.
“I am not really optimistic that it is going to be a solution, it’s only a temporary solution but not something that we feel that now the numbers are going to go down, we’re still going to have to mitigate some large numbers,” said El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego.
Samaniego spoke with KTSM 9 News about some of the problems associated with sending Venezuelan migrants who cross the border illegally back to Mexico.
“The problem with that is one, you’re burning another country and eventually they’re going to accumulate and you’re going to have that buildup,” said Samaniego.
Samaniego added that he spoke with the Mexican consulate and that the number being sent back is not large.
“They’re looking at very low numbers for example 50 or 60 that they might be able to accommodate,” said Samaniego.
Hundreds of migrants continue to cross the border daily, Samaniego explains why the new enforcement won’t have a huge impact.
“Let’s say that we had 1700 apprehensions and let’s say 50 percent of those were from Venezuela so let’s say 850. But then they’re only to take 100 of them so we still have 750. So it’s not making a huge dent,” said Samaniego.
Border Patrol took KTSM 9 News crews to the border on Friday where hundreds of migrants were waiting to be processed.
According to Border Patrol the daily average for October is 2,100 migrants crossing with 1,000 of those migrants from Venezuela.
“We are also seeing nationals from Nicaragua, Colombia, Cuban, Brazil we are seeing a mix here but again the majority of the migrants that we are encountering here are Venezuelan,” said Carlos Rivera a Spokesperson for the El Paso Sector U.S. Border Patrol.
A man who crossed between ports of entry and was waiting to be processed by border patrol on Friday told KTSM 9 News he is aware he may be expelled, and has concerns.
“I feel vulnerable to be alone to go to the other side, to send me over there. How do I go back through what I went through especially through the jungle and that’s what I ask myself how I go back,” said Ricardo Mendoza from Venezuela.
According to DHS Venezuelan migrants who cross between ports of entry will be expelled to Mexico. DHS did say this is a joint effort with Mexico.
“Those who attempt to cross the southern border of the United States illegally will be returned to Mexico and will be ineligible for this process in the future. Those who follow the lawful process will have the opportunity to travel safely to the United States and become eligible to work here,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas.
According to DHS, there is a new process for 24,000 Venezuelans who qualify to be lawfully brought to the U.S.
Congresswoman Veronica Escobar calling on congress to pass legislation for more legal pathways. Telling the media on Friday that she is not in supoort of Venezuelans being expelled.
I believe title 42 puts migrants at risk by rapidly expelling them we have seen in the past with title 42 it is called recidivism which is when migrants are rapidly expelled from one area they will simply move to another area and try again,” said Congresswoman Veronica Escobar.
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