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Hundreds of migrants believed to have entered the country illegally were seen wandering on the side of a highway in Eagle Pass, Texas, a small town just east of the Rio Grande on the Mexican border on Thursday, showed a video taken by Texas law enforcement.
Between August and May, Border Patrol agents paroled more than 207,000 migrants to avoid overcrowding in detention centers, a system launched under the Biden administration.
According to the law, the Department of Homeland Security can grant parole to migrants “for urgent humanitarian reasons or an important public interest”. Border Patrol says it turned to parole because it’s running out of detention space and resources are “overstretched”.
The Eagle Pass Border Patrol sends about 1,000 migrants each day to a non-profit organization called Mission: Border Hope in the town.
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The region now rivals the Rio Grande Valley for illegal crossings.
In May, 51,132 people were released on parole, a 28% increase from April, according to court records.
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In the seven months to last August, only seven migrants had been released on parole.
The The New Zealand Times contributed to this report.