BROWNSVILLE, Texas (Border Report) — A top official in the Department of Homeland Security was on the South Texas border on Wednesday, watching as three asylum seekers were walked back to Mexico under the Biden administration’s Title 8 removal orders.

The two Venezuelans and one Cuban were escorted by officers in a line to the half-way point of the Gateway International Bridge in Brownsville, Texas, where they were told to continue walking to Matamoros, Mexico.

“The consequences we are delivering as part of our comprehensive effort to manage flows at the border are working with voluntary withdrawals and returns to Mexico occurring right now behind us,” DHS Assistant Secretary Blas Nunez-Neto told reporters.

DHS Assistant Secretary Blas Nunez-Neto speaks to reporters on Wednesday, May 31, 2023, at the Gateway International Bridge in Brownsville, Texas. (Sandra Sanchez/Border Report)

“Our new rule places some common-sense conditions on asylum for those who do not use lawful pathways we have expanded,” he said.

Those being deported, or sent back to Mexico, face a five-year re-entry ban into the United States. If they try to cross the border before that time is up, they face criminal prosecution and a possible 20-year ban.

In addition, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement have ramped up deportation flights via ICE Air.

On Tuesday, ICE Air conducted several deportation flights to the Dominican Republic, Colombia and Honduras. And more deportation flights are scheduled for this week from South Texas, ICE says.

Title 8 replaced the pandemic-era Title 42 on May 11. That was a public health order imposed since March 2020 that forbid migrants from seeking asylum at the border in order to stop the spread of COVID-19.

CBP officers guard the entrance to the Gateway International Bridge in Brownsville, Texas, on May 31, 2023. (Sandra Sanchez/Border Report)

Under Title 8, asylum-seekers must apply for interviews at U.S. ports of entry with U.S. Customs and Border Protection using the CBP One app. Or they can apply for interviews at 100 regional processing centers that are being set up by the U.S. State Department and United Nations in Latin American and Caribbean countries.

Nunez-Neto said that starting Thursday, the CBP One app will accept 250 more appointments per day. That’s 1,250 for the entire Southwest border.

Concertina wire at the Gateway International Bridge, which leads from Matamoros, Mexico, to Brownsville, Texas. (Sandra Sanchez/Border Report)

And he stressed that those who don’t follow this process will be deported, or sent back to Mexico.

On Thursday, over 100 migrants from Central America are scheduled to be walked back from the McAllen-Hidalgo International Bridge to Reynosa, Mexico, CBP officials told Border Report.