Migrant processing centers overcrowded despite slowed influx

Migrant processing centers overcrowded despite slowed influx

EL PASO, Texas (NewsNation) — The end of Title 42 brought fewer migrants than expected, but that doesn’t mean that the southern border isn’t seeing some ripple effects.

After a federal judge in Florida on Thursday blocked the Biden administration from continuing a migrant release policy designed to alleviate overcrowding, the border is now seeing just that.

Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-Texas) shared a video with NewsNation showing significant overcrowding in the central processing center in El Paso. Gonzales said the maximum capacity in that specific center is 1,000.

However, there were allegedly 6,000 migrants in that center on the day he recorded that video. That is six times the capacity rate.

NewsNation sources with the Border Patrol said that in order to have a long-term impact at the border, the federal government needs to win the war of messaging.

While officials said the border is closed and there are consequences for crossing illegally, criminal smuggling organizations are telling migrants the opposite so they can stay in business.

A TikTok video that has been viewed over 17 million times told migrants that, “People who arrive at the U.S. border will not be able to be deported.” Another video warns viewers that deportations will be immediate.

El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser told NewsNation’s Chris Cuomo that winning that war of messaging is proving to be a challenge.

He explained it is because migrants have the wrong information. Many people traveled to the border saying that if they got to the border before Title 42 expired, they would be able to get into the U.S. legally.

“They were told that if they got here, they would have immigration asylum and that wasn’t the case,” Leeser said.

Border Patrol sources said it’s good to see the numbers down, but it’s not time to signal victory. This has happened before in 2019 where the threat of consequences stunted the numbers temporarily, but to have a long-term impact the federal government is going to have to back up its words with action.

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