Road signs warning drivers of “unexpected pedestrians” have gone up in El Paso, Texas amid a surge in migrant crossings at the southern border — with risks posed to both drivers and migrants.
Signs warning drivers to “watch for unexpected pedestrians” have gone up in recent months in El Paso along highways next to border barriers sealing off the border with Mexico. El Paso is one of the areas that saw some of the biggest spikes in migrants coming across the border in recent months, with the city declaring a state of emergency in December.
There were more than 2.3 million migrant encounters in FY 2022, and so far the months in FY 2023, which began in October, are outpacing the months of the prior fiscal year. That’s in addition to nearly 600,000 “gotaways” who slipped past overwhelmed Border Patrol agents and got into the country.
Sources told Fox News this week that there were more than 250,000 migrant encounters in December, a new record, in addition to more than 70,000 “gotaways.”
Migrants are regularly trafficked into the U.S. by smugglers and released along the border in ways to avoid Border Patrol — even if that is in a dangerous area for the migrants.
As that is happening, there is an increased risk that migrants entering the U.S. illegally between ports of entry cross highways or other roads.
KFOX14 reported that signs began going up at the end of November after an increase in crashes — including a 12-year-old Mexican girl who was hit and killed by a car. The outlet reported that 10 signs were going up in the area.
President Biden recently visited El Paso after announcing a number of new border measures designed to discourage illegal crossings and expand legal asylum pathways for migrants.
Meanwhile, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) updating its directives on vehicular pursuits, which the agency said provides “a clear framework for weighing the risks of conducting pursuits, such as the dangers they present to the public, against the law enforcement benefit or need.”
That policy lays out the factors for CBP agents to consider when deciding if a vehicle — for instance one suspected in human smuggling — should be pursued or not.