Operations at an El Paso port of entry have “temporarily” been suspended so officers can help US Border Patrol with the huge influx of migrants coming over the southern border.
The suspension of cargo processing at the Bridge of the Americas (BOTA) — one of the four main bridges which connects El Paso with Mexico — began Monday, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced.
“The temporary suspension … will allow CBP’s Office of Field Operations officers to assist the US Border Patrol in processing noncitizens who have arrived between the ports of entry including vulnerable populations like families and unaccompanied children,” Customs and Border Protection said in a new release.
As The Post previously reported, cartels have been encouraging migrants to head to the border and overwhelm operations there. El Paso has seen surges of up to 1,700 people a day handing themselves over to Border Patrol officers. City figures showed 4,600 in CBP custody on Tuesday.
People wishing to bring their cargo into the US at El Paso were advised to use another bridge to get their goods to enter the country.
Passenger vehicles and pedestrians can still cross at BOTA during the cargo postponement.
CBP leaders had warned of the temporary suspension before the announcement of the suspension was made on Friday, according to the federal agency.
“CBP will remain in communication with stakeholders and provide updates … The agency will work to return normal operations as quickly as feasible.”
Cargo processing at the Bridge of the Americas is typically open from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. Monday through Friday when operational.
The suspension comes as a growing number of border communities continue to sound the alarm over the ongoing border crisis.
Leaders in El Paso warned they are running out of space and won’t have enough room to keep all migrants released into the US from sleeping on the street for much longer.
“Our No. 1 priority is the safety of our community and the safety of our asylum seekers. We don’t want them sleeping on the streets, but at some point, we will run out of capacity,” said the city’s Mayor Oscar Leeser last week.
On Monday the city announced plans to open an emergency shelter for migrants to ease some of the strain.
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