Venezuelans crossing U.S. border en masse in El Paso

Several large groups of Venezuelan migrants have come over the border wall in El Paso in the last few hours.

The U.S. Border Patrol tweeted 500 migrants attempted to illegally enter the country on Wednesday night. Agency officials said additional large groups, possibly 100 to 200, were coming across Thursday morning.

The Border Patrol said it is investigating the mass crossing events and would be putting out a statement later today.

A large number of Venezuelan migrants, possibly thousands, became stranded in Juarez, Mexico, after the Biden administration in October issued new rules requiring asylum seekers to apply remotely once they secure a sponsor. Previously, the administration was releasing unsponsored Venezuelans on parole into El Paso, which prompted local officials to utilize emergency resources to feed them, temporarily house them and put them on buses to destinations in the interior of the United States.

But despite the new rules, Venezuelans have kept pouring into Juarez, Mexican officials have told Border Report.

Videos obtained by a KTSM/Border Report photo crew show hundreds of Venezuelans gathering on Wednesday night in the vicinity of the Big Red X monument in Juarez, then proceeding in an orderly manner to the banks of the Rio Grande.

Some of the Venezuelans told the photo crew word had gone down in the Venezuelan migrant community that the U.S. government would be busing newly arrived migrants to the Canadian border, where they could get jobs.

“They said they would only be taking families,” said a Venezuelan woman who walked toward the river with her husband. Both looked to be in their early 20s.

Another Venezuelan woman who approached the border wall said she was told by U.S. officials she would be expelled under Title 42 if she came across.

“There is conflicting information. We don’t know what is really happening,” the woman said. “They told us (in Juarez) they would help us get to Canada. […] We were happy, but they were playing with our feelings. They gave us some hope that we would be welcome. They told us, ‘You’re going to walk to Gate 36. You will be welcome there. We will help you with your process.’”

She was not clear on who informed the group about the alleged buses that would be taking them to Canada. At first, she said it was a “rumor” but she kept saying “they,” referring to the source of the rumor.

Border Patrol El Paso Sector Acting Chief Peter Jaquez dispelled rumors.

“Our authority to expel migrants under Title 42 has not changed. Migrants from Venezuela, as well as many other countries are still amenable for expulsion,” he tweeted.

Venezuelans have been enduring harsh conditions on Juarez streets for the past four months. Many refuse to go to shelters and prefer to hang out near the Rio Grande or collectively rent rooms in Juarez neighborhoods within eyesight of the U.S. border, Mexican officials and the migrants themselves have told Border Report.

Last week, Juarez officials said they would be removing Venezuelans and other migrants from street corners where they are trying to wash car windshields or sell candy to raise money to eat and pay for housing. Juarez officials have received complaints from merchants in tourist areas near the U.S. border that the Venezuelans are causing their customers to stay away.

Learn more at Border Report