BROWNSVILLE, Texas – The threat of a rush by migrants seeking asylum led to the temporary closure of a local port-of-entry Thursday. The shutdown follows one day after authorities closed operations at a separate bridge where migrants rushed the gates. Some claimed they were being extorted by Mexican immigration officials.
The new incident took place Thursday at the Gateway International Bridge when authorities received information about a group of Cuban migrants who could attempt to cross the border by force. The threat led to the deployment of CBP officers and crowd control measures. After a temporary shutdown, CBP officers reopened the bridge to regular traffic.
Close to 300 migrants are sleeping in and around the international bridge on the Mexican side. The migrants have all had been given a number to cross into Texas to request asylum. Soon after the initial incident, Mexican authorities ordered the migrants to vacate the area. A group of Mexican military forces and Federal Police arrived at the scene in case the situation escalated.
Some of the migrants who had been at the bridge claimed Mexican immigration officials were demanding between $2,000 and $5,000 USD from those wishing to skip the queuing protocol. The migrants claimed that at times, Mexican authorities would not allow any with a number to cross to let individuals without a number to bypass the line.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Border / Cartel Chronicles. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com.
Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Border / Cartel Chronicles. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and senior Breitbart management. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“J.A. Espinoza” from the Cartel Chronicles project contributed to this report.