Wearing life preservers and carrying babies, asylum-seekers, primarily from Central America, crossed the Rio Grande on inflatable rafts on Saturday (August 14) and turned themselves in to U.S. border authorities in southern Texas.
Border arrests have risen to 20-year highs in recent months but most of the migrants are returned to Mexico under Title 42, a measure that allows the U.S. government to expel migrants crossing the border back to Mexico, because of the coronavirus pandemic.
U.S. President Joe Biden, who campaigned on a more humane immigration approach, has reversed many of the restrictive policies of his Republican predecessor, former President Donald Trump, but has kept the controversial measure, fueling criticism from immigration advocates.
The administration says the expulsions are necessary to keep U.S. detention centers from becoming overwhelmed during the coronavirus pandemic, which they argue would create a risk for government workers, migrants and the public.
(Production: Go Nakamura, Arlene Eiras)