Tamaulipas state officials deny claim they're refusing to accept deported migrant children from U.S.
After months of waiting in Mexico under the Migrant Protection Protocols program, 27 migrants were allowed to cross into the U.S. last Thursday.
On the other hand, just last month, hundreds of migrants have been able to cross the border without waiting.
So why is the Valley seeing more migrants being turned over to the streets in the Valley?
"Tamaulipas is refusing the people that are not of Mexican decent," said Customs and Border Protection Spokesperson Thomas Gresback.
Along with CBP, U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo) says Tamaulipas is only accepting families of other nationalities with children between 13 and 17 years of age.
The Tamaulipan Migrant Institute assures these claims are completely false.
“We have never refused migrants, even less when it has to do with children,” Roble Lozano with the Tamaulipan Migrant Institute in Nuevo Laredo said in Spanish.
Cuellar said Mexico recently passed a reform to its immigration and refugee law which prohibits minors from being detained at Mexican immigration stations.
In Tamaulipas, migrant children are handed over to a special child protective services office created just for them, known as the Centro de Atención a Menores Fronterizos, or the CAMEF.
Enrique Maciel with the Tamaulipan Migrant Institute in Matamoros says his office is receiving deported migrant families, adding that whoever says Tamaulipas isn’t, is lying.
The Mexican National Institute of Migrant wasn’t immediately available for comment.
"In some instances, certain family units in a small fraction of the border have not been able to be returned to their last point of origin," said Department of Homeland Security Spokesperson Stephanie Malin.
Malin added that CBP will adjust resources as needed to meet the demand at the border.
Border Patrol numbers show that the Rio Grande Valley sector has the highest number of children traveling alone and crossing the border illegally. In January 2020, the Valley saw more than 4,000 unaccompanied minor children. In January 2021, that number jumped to more than 7,000.
Even under CDC guidelines, some migrants are not being returned back to Mexico.