A Fresh Wave of Migrants Is Crossing the Southern Border

Washington Post photo by Michael Robinson Chávez
Venezuelan migrants look for a path to cross the Rio Grande on Thursday in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.

The Biden administration is contending with a recent influx of migrants at the Texas-Mexico border that has stretched holding capacity to the brink.

In recent days, thousands of migrants riding freight trains have crossed the U.S. border. One Mexican rail operator briefly suspended train service because of people riding atop freight cars and inside empty hoppers. More than a half dozen have been killed or injured.

The Biden administration has urged migrants to apply for asylum. But migrants told The Washington Post the asylum application process was lengthy. By entering the United States they risk being immediately removed or criminally charged. But staying in Mexico, they said, is untenable.

The Biden administration recently announced it would offer temporary legal status to more than 470,000 Venezuelan migrants in the United States. More than 500,000 Venezuelans have been taken into custody at the border since 2021. That is the largest Venezuelan migration wave in U.S. history.

Illegal crossings along the southern border have soared to their highest levels since May.

Washington Post photo by Michael Robinson Chávez
A group of Venezuelan migrants negotiate razor wire near the border wall separating the United States from Mexico on Sept. 21 in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.