Federal agents with US Customs and Border Protection launched a pre-dawn operation in the Texas border town Tuesday at a Catholic Church where some 2,500 migrants, both legal and illegal, have gathered.
With just three days until Title 42 expires, many of the migrants expected federal agents to arrest the illegal immigrants sleeping on the streets, agents instead passed out flyers written in Spanish advising migrants who had crossed the border illegally to hand themselves over to a specific processing center.
El Paso Catholic Diocese Bishop Mark Se said he had been told by CBP: “Today they assure us that this is going to be a day in which they have an opportunity. They [CBP] want to come in a soft hand. Those who have no [criminal] record against them, will have the opportunity to go to the processing center and to be processed to receive parole to enter the country and go to their destination.”
The move appears to directly contradict the message the Biden administration has sent to migrants that they must apply for asylum from another country and get a sponsor and papers before trying to enter the US and the border patrol’s policy of ejecting migrants who have entered the country illegally.