In a statement by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published by Fox News, the agency said it used barricades at the bridge and other ports of entry to deter the group from entering Texas en masse.
“CBP officers including members of the CBP Mobile Field Force implemented port hardening measures at the Paso Del Norte international bridge at 1:30 p.m. today temporarily preventing the northbound flow of traffic after a large group of individuals formed on the Mexican side of the border and approached the international boundary posing a potential threat to make a mass entry,” the agency said on Sunday.
At one point that evening, the bridge had been virtually closed, CBP added. Reports indicated the group had more than 1,000 individuals.
CBP’s dashboard showed an approximate 40-minute wait to enter through the bridge at the time of publication. The average wait time is 15 minutes.
El Paso was at the center of a surge of illegal immigration in December after word spread of a U.S. district judge’s decision to order an end to expulsions under the Title 42 public health declaration, which is set to expire on May 11 when the national COVID-19 emergency ends.
The U.S. Supreme Court temporarily spared the policy by placing a stay on the decision, though the high court canceled an oral argument in the case after the Biden administration said it would soon be a moot point. Republican states have been doing everything they can from a legal perspective to forestall an end to the order, which has resulted in hundreds of thousands of rapid expulsions.
A voicemail left for the El Paso County judge’s office and a text message to a public relations official with the City of El Paso were not returned by the time of publication.
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Hayden Sparks is a senior reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."