EL PASO (CBSNewsTexas.com) — Last weekend, El Paso had 2,000 illegal crossings in just one day, but the most recent numbers from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) show it's now down by a third.
Border officials credit what is called "mirrored patrols" with Mexican authorities for the small drop, yet migrant advocates CBS News Texas spoke with call it a temporary and inhumane fix.
When asked what problems he sees with this kind of an effort, Fernando Garcia said there are a number of problems.
"This kind of solution does not recognize the real problem, which is the reason why migrants are being displaced in Mexico, in Venezuela, Central America. Violence, economic distress. So, this enforcement approach—deportation approach—doesn't solve anything."
Garcia is the director of the Border Network for Human Rights, and is against Mexican authorities setting up checkpoints, detaining, and deporting migrants south of the border.
"For me, what is happening today is the United States border has been expanded to southern Mexico. Now, all of Mexico is part of the U.S. border strategy," he said.
In a statement, CBP commissioner Troy Miller stated the importance or "reiterating the need for coordinated engagement to include mirrored patrols with local Mexican law enforcement agencies."
However, in a one-on-one interview with Venezuelan asylum seeker Elise Sousa, she said she believes migrants are going to find a new way to get to the states.
"Because the corruption we are fleeing doesn't just exist in one country, it's all over," she said.
Sousa showed CBS News Texas images of her trek north and says she encountered so much extortion from Mexican authorities that the new enforcement south of the border could be avoided by paying off officials.
"There are many who are extorted by the authorities who force you to pay money in order to get through and people pay however they can," she said tearfully, thinking about what she had to endure.
Meanwhile, Garcia says the solution lies in new policies to welcome asylum seekers like Sousa, not binational militaristic enforcement of the border.
"Let's figure out who is fleeing from violence and give them a solution. Let's figure out who is looking for a job that we need here in the United States. Let's find a way to bring those workers legally," he said.
Those tied into the crisis along the border told CBS News Texas this most recent wave has been described as a "third wave" since it began last year and fully expect the problem to persist.
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