Trump’s border emergency becomes more real by the day as migrants stack up along the Rio Grande…(H/Tip…Robert Lee…)

Friday, March 8, 2019
By Paul Martin

Alfredo Corchado

EL PASO – They came in pairs, by the dozens, hundreds. In one group, as many as 400 migrants crossed the border here in a single, massive group.

Many are families. And some would soon sleep for the first time on U.S. soil — but out in the open, under the stars because federal agents are having a difficult time processing them and getting them to shelter.

“What’s we’re seeing is something I haven’t seen in at least 10 years,” said Joe Romero, a veteran U.S. Border Patrol agent. And yet, when asked whether he was witnessing an emergency on the border, Romero paused and kept his eyes on the road. He and his partner drove slowly Wednesday in the shadow of a fence, long stretches of it lined with migrants waiting to be transported to begin the process of seeking asylum. The migrants stood restless, exhausted, most with children, stuck between the Rio Grande where the U.S. begins and a fence that runs along the river yards away from it, designed to keep them out.

Some agents now call the fence a wall, a term that conveniently fits the White House narrative. President Donald J. Trump has declared a national emergency to fund construction of a real wall. Border apprehensions are rising rapidly, especially the number of families from Central America heading to the U.S. to seek asylum. But overall apprehensions are still the lowest they have been in years.

“I’m not going to say this is an emergency,” Romero finally said, breaking the silence. “But it is a much bigger challenge and it puts a strain on manpower. Our goal is to adapt and conquer.”

The border patrol expected to take more than 1,000 migrants into custody along this strip Wednesday and Thursday, a record number in the El Paso sector. And that’s just people who arrive along the 10-mile stretch between El Paso’s Chihuahuita neighborhood and the Ysleta area, in the city’s Lower Valley.

If not a national emergency, the situation is at least a humanitarian crisis. As of dawn Thursday, some of the same people who were detained on the strip of land were still waiting to be processed in the same spot, their shadows looming behind the steel wire mesh fences as overwhelmed border patrol agents coped with transporting them to processing centers. It’s unclear how many may have been stuck overnight, but it’s clear that some were.

“It’s not an easy process,” said Ramiro Cordero, Border Patrol spokesman. “We’re doing this little by little, as buses can take 40 people and we have to be careful about not mixing unaccompanied minors with adults. We do the best we can under a difficult situation.”

The Rest…HERE

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