Home World NewsUnited Kingdom Mexico sets up checkpoint near San Judas Break after migrants cross into U.S. through border fence gap

Mexico sets up checkpoint near San Judas Break after migrants cross into U.S. through border fence gap

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The Mexican government recently set up a checkpoint near a U.S. border gap after migrants used the opening, known locally as the San Judas Break, to illegally cross the border into the United States, 60 Minutes confirmed. 

Migrants have moved on and are now crossing the border at another spot four miles east of the San Judas Break, area residents who help migrants said. The gap migrants have moved to is harder to get to, requiring hours of walking. It’s not directly accessible by vehicle, whereas smugglers used SUVs to drop off migrants by the San Judas Break. 

The San Judas Break had become internationally known. Over four days last month, 60 Minutes witnessed nearly 600 migrants — adults and children — come through the 4-foot gap at the end of a border fence 60 miles east of San Diego. Migrants passed through the gap by ducking under razor wire. 

Jerry Shuster, who owns land near the gap, estimated he’d seen 3,000 migrants a week come through the gap. He said migrants began arriving on his property in May.

“They come through the hole like they’re coming to their own country over here,” Shuster previously told 60 Minutes. “And nobody do nothin’ about it.”

Shuster also said American border officials knew about the hole near his property and that he’d asked for it to be fixed. 

“‘You gotta call Washington D.C,’ that’s what they say,” Shuster said. 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection told 60 Minutes that closing the gap was on the agency’s priority list, but it would require money from Congress. CBP said border patrol agents do not have legal authority to stop people from coming through gaps like the one by Shuster’s home. Agents can only arrest the migrants after they enter illegally

Some of the migrants who crossed into the U.S. at the San Judas Break, and others who are now crossing four miles east of the gap, came from China. Chinese migrants are the fastest growing group trying to cross into the U.S. from Mexico. Last year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported 37,000 Chinese citizens were apprehended as they illegally crossed the border. 

Migrants, undeterred by policies designed to reduce illegal entries, have been crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in unprecedented numbers. Last year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection encountered roughly two-and-a-half million migrants at the southern border.

In a 214-213 vote, the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday voted to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over his handling of the U.S.-Mexico border. The impeachment articles allege Mayorkas released migrants into the U.S. who should have been detained and that he lied to lawmakers about southern border security. 

President Biden called the impeachment vote a “blatant act of unconstitutional partisanship that has targeted an honorable public servant in order to play petty political games.”

“Sadly, the same Republicans pushing this baseless impeachment are rejecting bipartisan plans Secretary Mayorkas and others in my administration have worked hard on to strengthen border security at this very moment — reversing from years of their own demands to pass stronger border bills,” Mr. Biden said Tuesday. “Giving up on real solutions right when they are needed most in order to play politics is not what the American people expect from their leaders.”

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