A huge caravan of more than 1,000 illegal immigrants crossed the southern border into El Paso, Texas, Sunday night. It was the largest single group in a weekend that saw about 2,000 people cross into the border town each day.
The wave of migrants is overwhelming shelters, with one shelter director saying the “endless” crowd is “like nothing I’ve seen for the last 25 years,” the New York Times reported.
Footage posted on social media shows long streams of migrants wading through water to join a growing crowd on the north bank of the Rio Grande.
Border Patrol had more than 5,000 migrants in its El Paso processing center on Monday, the Times reported. After processing, most of the migrants are expected to be released onto city streets, where 7,000 others were released just last week, according to the Times.
According to Fox News correspondent Bill Melugin, the migrants were escorted to the border by Mexican police in nearly 20 buses. They were released to non-governmental organizations then walked over the border to El Paso.
El Paso is already struggling under the weight of what it refers to as a years-long “migrant crisis,” which recently hit a new spike. CBP encounters with migrants in the El Paso area jumped 64.8 percent from August to September, the agency’s data shows. More than 50,000 people illegally crossed into the city in October alone – more than anywhere else on the border, according to the Times.
There have been a record number of encounters along the entire border in the past year – 2.4 million, the Times reported.
Most of the migrants entering El Paso had been Venezuelan, but in November, “our demographics changed to Nicaraguans,” a Border Patrol spokeswoman told the El Paso Times.