US Border Patrol rounded up illegal migrants camped out on streets near a Catholic church in El Paso, Texas on Tuesday, the agency confirmed to The Post.
Federal agents continued checking migrants on the streets of the border town throughout Wednesday and took any who were not authorized asylum seekers into custody.
An eyewitness said: “They were asking people across from the church where many of them are staying for documents. If they produced them, they let them go. If not, they took them in.”
Sources said dozens were arrested by border agents and most likely expelled to Mexico.
As The Post has documented, around 60 migrants slipped over the border in the early hours of Tuesday morning, and others freely admitted to The Post they snuck into the country and had been sleeping on the streets near Sacred Heart Church for days.
As Border Patrol continued taking migrants into custody Wednesday, church volunteers hurriedly ushered people onto its property and out of the reach from agents, as houses of worship are considered off limits.
“I need you to take your child, and come with me,” said a volunteer to a group of migrants, adding, “There are more vans coming to take you away.”
A pregnant migrant woman sobbed as she rushed to squeeze into a long, narrow gated area with others who are in the US illegally.
“There’s no space left inside the church — it’s filled with women and children, so we’re just standing out here and could be deported at anytime. All we can do is run if they try to get us,” a Venezuelan migrant, who only wanted to be identified as Johnny because he is in the US illegally, told The Post.
El Paso has seen an increase in migrant crossings since the last week of December when Title 42 was extended, allowing the US to keep asylum-seekers from certain countries out of the US.
The Post witnessed a number of migrants missing from spots where they had been sleeping near the house of worship Wednesday morning. A Honduran couple with several young children were gone, their few belongings discarded on the sidewalk.
Other migrants told The Post “immigration officials” plucked people off the streets at night as they were sleeping Tuesday night.
A statement from Border Patrol said patrolling the neighborhood is part of its regular enforcement strategy.
“In response to migrants evading apprehension, the United States Border Patrol has increased the number of agents patrolling the area,” the agency told The Post.
Border Patrol checkpoints have become another focal point, as illegal immigrants are increasingly trying to leave West Texas by riding further into the country aboard commercial buses.
At least 16 commercial buses with 178 immigrants were stopped this weekend alone. Hundreds more have been apprehended at checkpoints in recent days.
The sixth largest city in Texas declared a state of emergency in December after being overwhelmed with migrants, both illegal and legal, who are escaping failing states south of Mexico since August.
Those with nowhere to go hunkered down for another long night on the streets Wednesday, with many unsure if they would still be in the US by morning.