JUAREZ, MEXICO — The Biden administration is grappling with a huge logistical and humanitarian challenge on the Southwest border, where about 5,000 unauthorized migrants are crossing on average every day.
About half of the migrants are allowed to stay in the U.S. and ask for asylum, and the rest are turned back to Mexico, according to a senior Border Patrol official who spoke on condition of anonymity to reporters on Friday.
But now there’s a new wrinkle: Some areas on the border in Mexico are refusing to take the migrants back, so U.S. authorities are flying them to where Mexican officials will accept them.
That’s led to confusion for families dropped off on the busy Paso del Norte International Bridge connecting El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, including about 40 migrants ushered across the borderline to the Mexican side by U.S. immigration agents one day last week.
“I’m with my wife and two daughters,” says Jerry Oyedo, 25, a father from Honduras whose girls are ages 6 and 8. “We crossed the river on our own, and the Border Patrol grabbed us. We were in custody for three days, and then they tossed us over here.”