EAGLE PASS, Texas — 200 mostly Central American migrants attempted to cross into the United States over the Camino Real International Bridge with hopes of presenting asylum claims. The unexpected rush around midnight Monday forced a temporary closure for at least an hour.
A video by Cuarto Poder Noticias of Piedras Negras claims migrants were responding to a rumor that the United States would allow their entry at the bridge. As hundreds arrived, authorities on both sides of the border moved to halt their progress.
The rush caused complications for lawful visitors trying to return home from holiday tourism. After longer than an hour, the port was re-opened to one vehicle lane. Traffic stacked on top of an already eight-hour wait as a result.
In Piedras Negras, Mexican National Guard and municipal law enforcement provided security for the bridge and helped U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers convince the migrants to return to Mexico. There were no reported injuries.
The group of nearly 200 migrants consisted of single adults and family units. The migrants were taken to a shelter in Piedras Negras after spending hours at the bridge. As the situation unfolded, a cold front dropped temperatures below freezing.
Migrants interviewed by Cuarto Poder Noticias said they would wait until daybreak for more information on how they will proceed.
CBP Port Director Paul Del Rincon told Cuarto Poder Noticias he was concerned by the incident and communication broke down with Mexican counterparts at the time of the incident.
Piedras Negras Mayor Norma Trevino says she believes the migrants were fooled by the rumors and was thankful authorities responded appropriately without injuries.
Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.