A key border crossing at the U.S.-Mexico boundary was shut down after a group of migrants gathered and attempted to force their way across, according to reports.
The Paso del Norte International Bridge, which links El Paso, Texas, with Juarez, Mexico, was temporarily closed on Thursday when Mexican authorities were physically challenged by at least one member of a crowd of migrants who had amassed at the entry point.
Approximately 20 families hailing mostly from the Mexican state of Zacatecas signaled they were “intent on marching to the American side to request asylum,” KTSM reports.
“Some of the families carried suitcases, backpacks and other belongings and were generally well-behaved, Mexican authorities told KTSM. However, tensions grew after one asylum seeker allegedly tried to forcefully make his way to the U.S. side of the port of entry and was impeded; at that point, Mexican authorities closed off access and escorted a family from Venezuela from the premises.”
Migrants told KTSM they hoped “things had changed” at the border under the new administration.
In a video of the confrontation, police can be heard stating, “Don’t force us to use force, please.”
A Customs and Border Protection spokesman explained that between four and six migrants had caused a “brief traffic disruption,” which led to temporary closure of the bridge.
Thursday’s incident marks at least the second emergency shutdown of the Paso del Norte Bridge due to illicit migrant activity in recent weeks.
In late December, hundreds of Cuban migrants stormed through a toll plaza on the Mexican side of the border in an attempt to reach U.S. soil.
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