Tuesday, April 23

Reporter who witnessed Texas migrant stampede describes ‘absolute chaos’ erupting in ‘matter of seconds’

A reporter who witnessed a migrant stampede at the Texas border said the situation escalated into “absolute chaos … in a matter of seconds” as adult males charged past National Guard troops.

Jennie Taer, a New York Post reporter, recounted what unfolded in El Paso on Thursday, explaining how hundreds of migrants were able to breach the border area and some were able to stampede the guardsmen and overtake “all of their resources” during “America’s Newsroom.”

“It all happened so fast,” Taer told Dana Perino Friday. 

“You had a group of 600 migrants that were all seemingly very calm for… 30 minutes that we were there, maybe an hour. And then all of a sudden, the Texas National Guard began to take the separated groups. So there were 300 single adults. There were 300 families and children and women on the other side. Those people were going to be taken for processing by Border Patrol. That was their priority. The single adults were being taken off into small groups back to Mexico. They realized that was their fate and… just within a matter of seconds, it became absolute chaos.”

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Video taken by the New York Post showed dozens of adult males ripping away razor wire that was set up by the state and charging past Texas National Guardsmen. They then ran towards a section of border wall where they were blocked from entering further. 

One soldier yelled, “Get the f— back!” at the illegal immigrants from the other side of the fence.

One migrant has been arrested in connection with the stampede, and officials say more arrests are likely on the horizon. 

“They took over the National Guard there. They totally dominated all of their resources, which were very little,” Taer said. 

“There were only a few guardsmen down there, and they were running past the razor wire. They breached that. They breached the National Guard’s physical… bodily boundary they had created.”

“And then, of course, they made their way up to the wall where they were pleading to get into the country,” she continued. “That’s what they were hoping to get, and I think the promise of that and realizing that they weren’t going to get that because of what Texas had done there, that was very upsetting to them, and so they decided to just cause chaos,” she continued. 

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Customs and Border Protection responded to the video in a statement, “There are consequences to crossing the border illegally, and CBP continues to enforce United States immigration laws. Individuals and families without a legal basis to remain in the U.S. are subject to removal, and are subject to a minimum five-year bar on reapplying for admission and potential criminal prosecution if they subsequently re-enter without authorization. No one should believe the lies of smugglers; individuals and families without a legal basis to remain in the United States will be removed.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also weighed in on the chaos, saying, “The surge today in El Paso is the direct result of the unsustainable chaos President Biden has unleashed on the border.”

Taer said some of the migrants involved in Thursday’s stampede were ultimately processed and released into the United States, which sends the wrong message to other migrants, she argued. 

“This sends the message to people around the world that even if you act like this, you can probably get into the country. And I think they continue to push these boundaries and to see what they can get away with. And here they got away with some really, really scary stuff,” she said, describing assaults on some troops.

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Taer argued that Texas officials have tried to be “really supportive” of one another because they don’t feel supported by the Biden administration as they battle the everyday impacts of illegal immigration.  

“I do talk to members of the Texas National Guard in the area, and they said they’re just trying to be really supportive of each other right now because they feel totally overwhelmed,” Taer said. “Just as other authorities dealing with this, our Border Patrol, the state DPS, this is the situation they’re in, and when it’s the federal authorities especially, they feel like the people in Washington that are in charge of their agencies don’t have their backs in this situation.”

Thursday’s incident marked the latest flashpoint at the border in a three-year crisis that has seen record numbers of migrants hit the border, with 2.4 million in FY 23 alone. 

Numbers have dropped since the high of 302,000 seen in December, but there are concerns those numbers could again swell as the summer months approach.

Fox News’ Adam Shaw, Bill Melugin and Michael Lee contributed to this report. 

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