The U.S. is set to reopen four legal border crossings with Mexico this week as the number of illegal immigrants has decreased, freeing up border personnel, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
The crossings to be reopened are located in Eagle Pass, Texas, two in Arizona, and one near San Diego. The CBP stated that it will continue to prioritize border security as needed.
In December, U.S. border authorities faced challenges processing migrants as apprehensions reached nearly 11,000 in a single day, a figure that officials say was near or at a record high. Discussions are ongoing among lawmakers about a potential deal that would combine increased border security measures with foreign aid, including military funding for Ukraine.
U.S. President Joe Biden expressed his desire for increased funding to protect the border, stating, “We gotta do something. They ought to give me the money I need to protect the border.”
Last week, Mexican and U.S. officials pledged to work together more closely to address the record migration at their shared border. Mexican officials have increased immigration enforcement in recent weeks, including moving migrants to southern Mexico and resuming deportation flights to Venezuela.
The reopening of the border crossings was welcomed by Mexico, with the country’s foreign ministry stating, “This will benefit the economies of both countries.”
However, a U.S. official warned that migrant crossings typically drop between Christmas and New Year’s Day, and said, “We have seen over the last year periods of increased encounters and periods of decreased encounters. We will continue to stand ready to respond to these kinds of surges.”
Read more at Reuters.