Hundreds of migrants, including children and teenagers, tried to cross Mexico’s border to the United States on Monday after a storm destroyed a makeshift camp where they had been staying, Mexican local media reported.
The migrants, mainly from Venezuela, El Salvador and Honduras, tried to reach the United States from the northern Mexico town of Matamoros, according to local media.
It is the first incident of this size to occur at the border since the United States ended in May its Title 42 migration policy, which allowed Washington to immediately expel undocumented migrants on public health grounds during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In videos posted on social media, groups of migrants, some with small children and teenagers, tried to reach the United States by crossing a narrow bridge leading to the US border town of Brownsville, Texas.
Darly Mercado, a Venezuelan traveling with her family, told reporters that they decided to cross the border after the improvised tent that they had been camping in was destroyed.
In the confusion caused by the storm, the family managed to reach the end of the bridge, but were met by US agents and returned to Mexico, she said.
Mexican authorities responded to the incident by closing the border crossings.
US authorities reported a 50 percent drop in encounters with undocumented migrants crossing the US-Mexico border since Title 42 was lifted last month.
The rule change brings back into effect a previous policy known as Title 8, which allows migrants who cross the border to seek asylum, but also prescribes strict penalties for those crossing who do not qualify, including five-year bans on US entry and possible criminal charges.
Washington has been trying to control the flow of migrants to the southern US border, where thousands of people have tried to enter the country every month in the past year.