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Huntsville Friday 29 Sep 2023
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Hundreds of Migrants Hanging Off Sides of Packed Train Rolling Towards US-Mexico Border as Crisis Grows

By Nimrah Khatoon
Hundreds of Migrants Hanging Off Sides of Packed Train Rolling Towards US-Mexico Border as Crisis Grows
Hundreds of Migrants Hanging Off Sides of Packed Train Rolling Towards US-Mexico Border as Crisis Grows

A Train To The Border

A cargo train filled with hundreds of migrants was recently seen speeding towards the U.S.-Mexico border, originating from the central Mexican city of Zacatecas. The train was headed north for a 750-mile journey, with the containers packed with migrants, some of whom had put up tents or canvas covers to shield themselves from harsh weather. This incident adds to the growing number of migrants reaching U.S. border towns, a trend that has seen a significant increase as per the data from the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

Burgeoning Border Crossings

In July, there were nearly 184,000 migrant crossings into the U.S., up from 144,000 in June. However, these numbers are still lower compared to the figures from previous years. For instance, in the years 2021 and 2022, more than 200,000 individuals crossed into the U.S. from Mexico each year. The 2022 fiscal year witnessed a record-breaking number of encounters with migrants at the Southwest border with 2,378,944 reported crossings. In 2023, up until July, there have been 1,973,092 crossings. The number of crossings in August is predicted to exceed 230,000. Of these, the majority are single adults, but almost 600,000 are individuals in a family unit, and there have been 109,298 unaccompanied minors crossing the border.

The Global Migrant Surge

The surge of migrants is not only from Central and South American nations like Venezuela and Mexico, but also from other parts of the world, including China. The increase in migrant crossings has been attributed to the lax border policies of the current U.S. administration.

Overcapacity Issues at the Border

The large influx of migrants has led to overcapacity issues at the southern border. Texas Governor Greg Abbott has taken measures to alleviate the pressure on border towns by sending over 35,000 migrants from his state to sanctuary cities across the U.S., including over 13,300 to New York City. He argues that Texas cities have borne the brunt of illegal immigration and that sanctuary cities need to share this burden.

The Expiry of Title 42 and the Aftermath

The border crisis was further escalated with the expiration of Title 42, a pandemic-era immigration policy. This led to over 10,000 undocumented arrivals every day for several days. The state of Texas has responded by using razor wire to block migrants from illegally entering, and by busing migrants to sanctuary cities such as New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles to provide some relief to border towns.

Looking Forward

The number of migrants attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border is on the rise, leading to overcapacity issues at border towns. This situation has been exacerbated by the expiry of a key immigration policy and the perceived lax border policies of the current administration. Efforts have been made to distribute the burden to other cities, but the situation remains critical and demands further action and long-term solutions.

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