REYNOSA, TAMAULIPAS.- Despite predictions of a migrant surge after the May 11 end of Title 42, the Covid ban that blocked more than 2 million migrant crossings, the southern border has seen the number of migrant encounters by U.S. border agents drops — down from about 11,000 the Tuesday and Wednesday before Title 42 expired to about 4,400 each day.
Some shelter operators on the Mexican side of the border say that while migrants continue to arrive at their shelters, there are signs that some are pausing their journeys north and rethinking their strategies for entering the U.S.
According to five shelter operators and workers, many migrants are now aware that they face a five-year ban from the U.S. if they are deported under an existing rule called Title 8, and many are waiting to get official U.S. asylum appointments via cellphone rather than trying to cross the border without authorization.
Pastor Gustavo Banda, who operates Templo Embajadores de Jesus, one of the largest shelters in Tijuana, said he now has more than 1,700 migrants at his facility.
According to Banda, members of a migrant caravan started arriving in the Tijuana area more than two weeks ago with false information from smugglers claiming it would be easier for migrants to enter the U.S. and win the right to stay if they came before Title 42 expired.
“They were lied to,” he said, adding that many Colombian migrants in the first half of the group crossed into the U.S. between ports of entry for this reason.
But since Title 42 expired, he hasn’t seen another group try to cross over the same way and is encouraging migrants to wait in Mexico as long as they need to get an appointment to apply for asylum in the U.S. via CBP One, Customs, and Border Protection’s mobile phone app.
“Some have appointments, others do not,” he said of those at his shelter. “Try it legally. It doesn’t matter how long.”
At Casa del Migrante in Reynosa, migrant numbers have also remained over-capacity but largely the same at about 230 for the past two weeks, shelter worker Elizabeth Valle said.
Source: El Mañana