Hundreds of migrants suspected to have entered the country illegally were seen Thursday wandering the side of a highway in Eagle Pass, Texas, a small town just east of the Rio Grande on the Mexican border, a video taken by Texas law enforcement showed.
Between August and May Border Patrol officers have paroled more than 207,000 migrants to avoid overcrowding in detention centers, a system started under the Biden administration.
It’s unclear if the migrants seen in the video had been paroled.
By law, the Homeland Security Department may parole migrants “for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.” The Border Patrol says it turned to parole because it lacks holding space and resources are “overwhelmed.”
The Border Patrol in Eagle Pass sends around 1,000 migrants every day to a nonprofit called Mission: Border Hope in the town.
The area now rivals the Rio Grande Valley in illegal crossings.
In May, 51,132 migrants were paroled, a 28% increase from April, according to court records.
In the previous seven months before last August, only seven migrants had been paroled.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.