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US suspends, reduces vehicle processing along southern border at select Texas and Arizona ports of entry

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced on Monday that it will temporarily suspend and reduce vehicle processing at ports of entry in Texas and Arizona, in response to a surge in migrant encounters along the southern border.

In a statement from the CBP, the agency said beginning at 3 p.m. local time, vehicle processing operations at Eagle Pass International Bridge 1 in Eagle Pass, Texas will be temporarily suspended, and at 2 p.m. local time, vehicle processing will be reduced in Lukeville, Arizona.

The actions are being taken to allow CBP to redirect personnel to assist the U.S. Border Patrol with taking migrants into custody.

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US-Mexico border crossing

An officer directs traffic at the Eagle Pass International Bridge 1 in Eagle Pass, Texas, US, on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2022. Texas Republicans success in winning over Latinos seemed to stall this election cycle, with the GOP losing two of three US Congressional seats in heavily-Hispanic South Texas and Governor Greg Abbott seeing a drop in support among the fast-growing demographic. (Sergio Flores/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“In response to this influx in encounters, we will continue to surge all available resources to expeditiously and safely process migrants,” the statement read. “We will maximize consequences against those without a legal basis to remain in the United States. CBP will continue to prioritize our border security mission as necessary in response to this evolving situation.”

Several sectors along the U.S.-Mexico border have seen major spikes in migrant encounters over the past few weeks.

The U.S. Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector in Arizona reported having 15,300 illegal crossings last week, marking the highest weekly total ever.

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Eagles Pass Texas migrants

Asylum seekers wait to be processed by U.S. Border Patrol agents after crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico into the United States on September 30, 2023 in Eagle Pass, Texas. Border security and immigration have become major issues in ongoing negotiations to fund the U.S. government. A recent surge in immigrant crossings at the U.S. southern border has overwhelmed authorities.  (John Moore/Getty Images)

Along with the crossings, agents seized 117 lbs. of fentanyl, filed 78 federal criminal cases, made 17 rescues, and intercepted 14 human smuggling events and three narcotics events.

The sector is routinely overwhelmed with 2,000 to 2,500 illegal crossings per day, many of which are said to come from all over the world, including parts of Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

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Eagle Pass city officials posted an important notice on social media, pertaining to the bridge closure.

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“Due to recent increase in the number of immigrant crossings, Bridge 1 will suspend northbound operations (Mexico to United States) effective November 27, 2023 3pm and until further notice,” the city said, adding that southbound operations would not be affected. “This decision was made by the federal Government and NOT the City of Eagle Pass. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.”


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