(NewsNation) — Border Patrol agents intercepted 12 migrants who were being “illegally smuggled” in the storm drains of El Paso, Texas, according to the city’s border patrol chief.
The twelve migrants were being smuggled through El Paso’s storm drains. Customs and Border Protection emphasized the complexity of the El Paso drain system, which often transports toxic substances with serious health risks.
This comes as illegal border crossings from Mexico into the U.S. have decreased in October, ending a three-month upward trend.
Border authorities released new data this week, revealing over 188,000 arrests for illegal crossings in October, marking a 14% drop from September. Despite this decline, the U.S. is still witnessing the highest global displacement since World War Two.
This data coincides with a face-to-face meeting between President Joe Biden and Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to address the substantial influx of migrants, including those carrying fentanyl into the U.S.
In response to the migrant crisis, the presidents met in San Francisco on the final day of the APEC summit. Both leaders pledged to collaborate closely to address the issue, expressing optimism about their working relationship.
“We’re working side by side to combat arms trafficking, to combat organized crime and to address the opioid epidemic, and including fentanyl, enforcing our borders, increasing reparations and opening historic numbers of legal pathways for migrants,” Biden said.
The friendly meeting between the presidents occurred amid strong condemnation from the Mexican government towards a proposed bill in Texas. The bill aims to grant all police officers in the state the authority to arrest migrants entering the country illegally and empower Texas judges to issue orders for them to leave the United States.
Mexico’s Foreign Relations Department said, in a statement, “The Mexican government categorically rejects any measure that would allow local or state authorities to detain or deport Mexicans or other nationalities to Mexican soil.”
The Texas Legislature has granted final approval to the bill, and Governor Greg Abbott is anticipated to sign it. Nevertheless, opponents of the legislation express concerns that the law might result in the wrongful arrest of U.S. citizens and legal immigrants.