BROWNSVILLE, TX (Border Report) — Nearly 4,000 migrants have been apprehended in Brownsville, Texas, so far this week, border agents tell Border Report.
Overnight, about 2,000 asylum seekers crossed the Rio Grande from Matamoros, Mexico, into this South Texas city, Brownsville police investigator Martin Sandoval told Border Report.
On Tuesday, Border Report watched as hundreds more crossed into the area and clustered in the same area.
They ended up on an earthen embankment behind a baseball complex owned by Texas Southmost College and less than a mile from the Gateway International Bridge.
Sandoval broadcast the situation live on Facebook overnight. He said the apprehensions were “peaceful.” The video shows them sitting in groups.
Sandoval says that 70% are Venezuelans and there are many families.
Agents estimated that 400 people were detained on Tuesday, and by early afternoon hundreds could be seen standing in a line on the embankment waiting to board buses.
The Texas Army National Guard escorted the migrants to the larger group while several smaller groups of migrants turned themselves in throughout the day.
Texas DPS and local police also helped secure the area. Tents were set up and migrants kept in orderly groups as officials packed white buses full of migrants throughout the day.
This came after 1,600 migrants were apprehended in Brownsville over the weekend, according to RGV Sector Chief Border Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez.
Chavez told the media Monday that Brownsville and Cameron County were seeing an increase in immigration activity.
Traditionally, large groups, numbering more than 100, have crossed into neighboring Hidalgo County, near the town of Mission, not far to the east.
Law enforcement search and separate asylum seekers on an earthen levee in Brownsville, Texas on April 25, 2023. There is a chain-link fence on the north side of the levee that separates it from Texas Southmost College. (Sandra Sanchez/Border Report Photos)
But immigrant advocates say more than 2,000 immigrants now live in a tent camp in Matamoros, Mexico, and desperately want to come to the United States.
Last week, around 1,000 migrants caused the closure of the Gateway International Bridge after they stormed the bridge and began walking in the vehicle lanes. The bridge was reopened early Friday morning, but Sandoval told Border Report that he believed more desperate immigration activity would soon follow.
Andrea Rudnik, volunteer coordinator for the nonprofit Team Brownsville, told Border Report that her group was expecting 12 buses full of released migrants today at the welcome center, which they service in front of the Brownsville bus station.
She said the center, which hands out toiletries and supplies to migrants who are released by DHS, needs popsicles of water and snacks.
They are expecting more than 550 migrants Tuesday, which she says is a big increase from the 50 to 125 they were receiving daily just a couple of weeks ago.