EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Exclusive video captured by KTSM 9 News shows hundreds of migrants crossing the border into Downtown El Paso and surrendering to Border Patrol agents on Wednesday
The groups were then taken to processing facilities, one of which was made up of parked buses at the border.
Border Patrol officials said they have been using the buses for the past few days to help process the large number of people coming across the border. Inside the bus, agents are taking fingerprints and conducting background checks.
Even after the buses left for the day, KTSM spotted another large group of migrants that was led from the border to a processing facility at the Paso Del Norte Bridge. According to Border Patrol, since Sept. 1, an average of 1,300 encounters per day have happened in the El Paso Sector. In the past five days, there have been 660 migrants daily from Venezuela alone.
“We can also confirm that we have experienced an increase and shift towards a demographic of migrants that are not amenable to Title 42 expulsion,” said Border Patrol spokesman Carlos Rivera.
El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego said that while people see the migrants in the community, what they don’t see is how many are crossing.
“It’s a manageable crisis right now and I would love the community to understand that it’s bad to see 300, 400, but what your not looking at is the 3,000-4,000 that we are able to process and we are sending them around the country,” Samaniego said.
Various processing facilities and shelters in El Paso are at maximum capacity, prompting the Border Patrol to release migrants into the community whose next step in their immigration proceedings is pending.
Some of those people sleep in the Downtown area as they wait for other family members to arrive and for transportation.
A woman revealed Wednesday that she crossed the border a few days ago with her husband and child.
“They took all of our information they took all of our fingerprints, pictures, age, height name then they sent us to the detention center,” said Dayerlyn Hernandez, who is from Venezuela.
Hernandez says she was separated from her husband and didn’t want to leave the detention facility.
“I was in there for two days. After that they let us leave and everyone is on their own and goes to where they want to go. And because I wouldn’t come out because they separated us, that’s why I’m here (on the street in Downtown),” she said.
Hernandez has since been reunited with her husband and is waiting for a bus to Houston, Texas. Another woman, from Nicaragua, says she is pregnant and is still waiting for her husband, as she waits in the Downtown area.
“I’m out here on the street and all I need is someone to help,” said Tania Valdivia from Nicaragua.
She also describes her experience crossing the border and going through processing with Border Patrol.
“Crossing through México we had to go down and then backup and then we turn ourselves into Border Patrol,” said Valdivia. “Once we turned ourselves into immigration, they did take us to their buses, they gave us a wristband with a code then they took our fingerprints, our picture. I had Mexican money, they took it away from me.”