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Uncertainty brews for McAllen citizens, migrants with the end of Title 42

Posted at 10:22 PM, May 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-12 23:22:43-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The city of McAllen, located near the U.S. - Mexico border, is facing an influx of migrants as Title 42 came to an end on Thursday night.

The expiration of the restriction, which prevented migrants from crossing the border and coming into the U.S., has brought McAllen and many other border towns into an unpredictable time.

For McAllen Mayor Javier Villalobos, one of the biggest challenges is figuring out how to accommodate and support the migrants coming into the city.

“The issues we had before with COVID are pretty much done," Mayor Villalobos said. "Now we have some other issues dealing with immigration and some of them are the lack of resources of some top the immigrants now.”

They are currently opening up an overflow shelter at Anzalduas Park and are hoping to expand their capacity to 5,000 people in the next few days.

But its not just the citizens of McAllen that are facing an uncertain future. For many of the migrants who have crossed over, they have been thrown into chaos after their difficult trek to the U.S.

Yerkinson Oswaldo Marquez Rivas, a migrant from Venezuela, told KRIS 6 News that his journey to the U.S. has been anything but easy.

"We crossed the jungle, I saw women get raped, I saw kids gets shot at for trying to flee robbers," Rivas said. "We suffered all this tragedy, for a simple dream ..To get our family ahead."

Rivas said he is one of the lucky ones that crossed before Title 42 expired, having crossed the Rio Grande through Brownsville.

"There was officers that said, ‘hurry - hurry before we close’" he said. "We got lucky and crossed quickly but behind me there was a massive group of people (who didn't make it)."

After spending several days in a detention center, Rivas said he was finally released with his wife and three-year-old daughter. He is scheduled to appear in front of an immigration judge in a few weeks.

Rivas and his family are not the only ones who are having to improvise.

Jefferson Gutierrez, another Venezuelan migrant, also crossed through Brownsville with his family and is now trying to figure out how to buy bus tickets to San Antonio without any money.

At this moment, despite the aid that is already being supplied, all they — and the other migrants — can do is hope that help is on the way.

This is a developing story, KRIS 6 News will keep updating as more information comes in.

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