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By Julia Ainsley
More than 1,800 migrants arrived Tuesday in Piedras Negras, Mexico on the other side of the Rio Grande from Eagle Pass, Texas.
Eagle Pass border officials can process fewer than 20 asylum seekers a day, but so far there are no plans to increase the number of officials who can conduct a credible scare interview. the first step towards asylum. In a credibly feared interview, an asylum-seeker tries to establish that there is cause for concern that he can return home.
The Trump government sends 250 active troops to Eagle Pass and other border police to enforce border security. The Texas Department of Public Safety has dispatched dozens of state soldiers to the Eagle Pass in anticipation of the caravan.
CBP's ability to handle asylum seekers depends on the speed with which Immigration and Customs Enforcement can arrest immigrants from the border.
The process of processing only a small number of immigrants per day is called metering and has been used for short periods of particularly high waves of immigration under the Obama administration. However, the Trump government in San Ysidro, California, has continued to use gauges for months, triggering the establishment of migrant camps in Tijuana. Last month, two Central American boys were lured from their camp for migrants in Tijuana and murdered.
In Tijuana, immigrants carry an informal list of names assigned to each number, and only those named – usually about 40 – are allowed to do so approaching the port of entry every day.
Immigration attorneys are worried about the poor conditions immigrants face when they wait in Piedras Negras, a small, small-scale city to supply a large number of non-resident new arrivals. They called on the administration to provide more resources, including asylum officials, at the border to process more immigrants per day.
The Department of Homeland Security recently announced that asylum seekers reaching the port would be denied entry into the country, starting in San Ysidro with plans to expand to other parts of the border. These asylum seekers must wait in Mexico until their asylum cases are heard.
A spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety declined to comment. A CBP spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.