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There's an uptick in migrants crossing into the US, driven by economic woes and hopes for change under Biden

February 19, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 24.9%. 1 min read.

JUAREZ, CHIHUAHUA, MEXICO - 2021/02/08: A Central American woman and her son cross the Rio Grande to surrender to the border patrol at the Texas United States crossing. (Photo by David Peinado/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The increase in migrants is driven by the Covid-19 pandemic, the devastation left by two major hurricanes in Central America, and a new US President.

This center has become a haven of activity in recent weeks, as more and more families have crossed the Rio Grande River from Mexico seeking asylum in the United States.

U. S Customs and Border Protection officials process the migrants and give them a court date, then they drop them off at a bus station in downtown McAllen, just across the street from the respite center.

CBP officials had about 78,000 encounters with migrants at the southern border in January, up from about 72,000 in October, according to CBP reports.

A new law in Mexico, combined with social distancing in US detention centers, has created a lack of space for migrants, forcing CBP officials to release families into the US interior.

Sister Norma Pimentel, who runs Catholic Charities in the Rio Grande Valley, said they were seeing just a few migrants each day throughout the pandemic, but now they're seeing 50 to 100 people a day.

She said the recent uptick in families and the policy of releasing them in the US has created confusion and frustration among migrants who've been waiting on the other side of the border for their court dates as part of the Trump administration-era policy named Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).

Seeing families cross illegally and being released has sent shock waves among those waiting, said Pimentel.

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