In a frantic scene at the border, dozens of babies and small children were thrown over the river which separates the US from Mexico in El Paso, Texas as more than 1,000 migrants rushed the border Wednesday afternoon, the US Border Patrol confirmed.
Exclusive photos captured by The Post show desperate parents throwing their children over the international boundary Wednesday — after rumors circulated on social media they would be allowed entry into the US if they surrendered themselves to immigration agents.
The false information spread on social media and caused a stampede — as frantic families with kids in their arms ran for miles, hoping to make it to “the front of the line,” The Post witnessed.
The hoards, mostly Venezuelans, crowded near a gate in the border wall where they believed they could seek asylum if they surrendered to Border Patrol.
However, the agency said the migrants were being given misinformation and that it is still enforcing Title 42, which means Cuban, Salvadorans, Hondurans, Haitians, Guatemalans, Mexican, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans who cross the international boundary illegally are automatically expelled from the country and returned to Mexico.
“People should not believe smugglers or others claiming the borders are open,” tweeted US Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz. “The borders are not open, and people should not make the dangerous journey. Migrants making an unlawful entry are subject to expulsion and repatriation.”
This isn’t the first time social media rumors have caused havoc in El Paso. Pandemonium at one of the international bridges was likely started by cartels on March 12.
Wild video also captured frantic migrants, including the elderly and young children, storming the bridge from Juarez, Mexico, to El Paso Sunday— driven by fake online claims that the US was giving asylum seekers a break that day.
Clad in riot gear, officers from US Customs and Border Protection shut down the bridge to prevent anyone from coming in.
The majority of the migrants have been in waiting in Juarez for months — hoping to get legal asylum in the US. Many are waiting for asylum interviews with American officials that can take weeks, if not months, to schedule.
“When you have families who have been waiting months to try to seek asylum …and they continue to have doors slammed in their faces — I think the desperation sets in,” Melissa Lopez, the executive director of the Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services told El Paso station KTSM.
Penniless, many of them have turned to washing car windows at intersections or begging for money to get food to eat. Mexican officials have become increasingly hostile to them and started rounding them up for panhandling.
On Monday night, the migrant facility where migrants were being held caught fire after some ignited stacked mattress after learning they were due to be deported — killing 39 people who were locked in the cells. Mexican officials are now investigating the blaze and the role eight employees played for not freeing the migrants as fire and smoke spread.
Border officials said migrants who cannot be expelled under Title 42 and have no legal basis to remain in the US would be removed from the country.