EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – El Paso Sector border agents came across a record number of unauthorized migrants in September, many of them asylum-seekers from Venezuela quickly placed on parole and released.
The releases prompted area nonprofits and local governments to scramble to provide temporary housing, food, and transportation for the migrants – multimillion-dollar expenses they expect the Biden administration to reimburse them for.
In an email response to Border Report inquiries, the U.S. Border Patrol said it apprehended an average of 1,633 migrants per day in September in the El Paso Sector. That comes up to 48,990 encounters for the month, topping the May 2019 monthly watermark of 38,637.
The agency processed an average of 672 Venezuelan nationals per day in the region – more than 20,000 for the month of September.
“The U.S. Border Patrol in the El Paso Sector has recorded a significant increase in migrant encounters compared to previous fiscal years, with more than 258,760 encounters in fiscal year 2022,” up to Aug. 31, the agency said in a statement.
The agency says it continues to expel ineligible migrants under the Title 42 public health order and is placing others who are determined to not have a legal basis to stay in the country under Title 8 deportation proceedings.
“CBP continues to safely, efficiently and effectively process individuals at the border,” the agency said in its statement.
The September surge forced the Border Patrol to release hundreds of migrants onto the streets during a three-day stretch, given that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Central Processing Center, as well as nonprofit shelters, were full. Many camped on the sidewalks near a bus station, including during a night in which a rainstorm pelted the city.
The Border Patrol says it has not conducted street releases since September 15. That’s around the time the City of El Paso approved a $2 million charter bus contract to transport migrants for free to cities of their choice in the United States. The city has since approved a second $4 million contract given the demand for this service.
The Border Patrol has responded to the surge by establishing a temporary processing center a few feet from the border wall west of Downtown El Paso. That has become a favorite crossing point for Venezuelans who are arriving to Juarez, Mexico, in private charter buses and being driven by cabs to the Rio Grande.