(NewsNation) – Border Patrol agents have intercepted 12 migrants who were “illegally smuggled” in the sewers of El Paso, Texas, according to the city’s border patrol chief.
The twelve migrants were smuggled through El Paso’s storm sewers. Customs and Border Protection emphasized the complexity of El Paso’s drainage system, which often carries toxic substances with serious health risks.
This comes as illegal border crossings from Mexico into the US fell in October, ending a three-month upward trend.
Border authorities released new data this week showing that more than 188,000 people were arrested for illegal border crossings in October, a 14% decrease from September. Despite this decline, the United States is still experiencing the highest global displacement since World War II.
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These dates coincide with a face-to-face meeting between President Joe Biden and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to discuss the significant influx of migrants into the United States, including those carrying fentanyl
In response to the refugee crisis, the presidents met on the final day of the APEC summit in San Francisco. Both leaders promised close cooperation to resolve the issue and expressed optimism about their working relationship.
“We are working side by side to fight the gun trade, combat organized crime and combat the opioid epidemic, including fentanyl, strengthen our borders, increase reparations and open a record number of legal pathways for migrants.” said Biden.
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The friendly meeting between the presidents came amid strong condemnation by the Mexican government of a proposed law in Texas. The bill aims to give all law enforcement officers in the state the authority to arrest migrants entering the country illegally and to authorize Texas judges to order them to leave the United States.
The Mexican Foreign Ministry said in a statement: “The Mexican government categorically rejects any measure that would allow local or state authorities to arrest or deport Mexicans or other nationalities on Mexican soil.”
The Texas Legislature has given final approval to the bill and Gov. Greg Abbott is expected to sign it. Still, opponents of the law raise concerns that the law could lead to the unlawful detention of U.S. citizens and legal immigrants.