‘Significant Surge’ of crossings at US-Mexico border

ABC News’ Matt Gutman reports on desperate families seeking a better life in the U.S. and overwhelmed border patrol agents trying to contain the surge.
8:24 | 03/04/21

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Transcript for ‘Significant Surge’ of crossings at US-Mexico border
Subject that helped propel former president trump into the White House and may be one of the biggest challenges facing president Biden now what to do about the crisis at the border right now senior DHS officials telling ABC news there is a significant surge of migrants crossing illegally into the US today we learned this or teen people killed in a horrific crash in California Tuesday were smuggled through a hole in a border fence before their SUV packed with 15 people collided into a semi truck a short time later our cameras have been on the ground along the Texas Mexico border in recent days. Seeing the crisis first chance this as the White House is floating sweeping changes were immigration system. Our Matt Gutman leads us off tonight with a desperate Stanley seeking a better life she and the overwhelmed Border Patrol agents trying to contain the search. Helicopters circled low skimming the treetops. Border Patrol agents don't feed to the brush. Helicopters flying low there are number of fans here to pick up. A group of migrants that. Apparently smuggled across the border and is hunkered down inside. This orchard somewhere and it took officials about half an hour to find that sixteen migrants they said we'll. Fighting in this orchard. And their percent of the highway hugging the Rio Grande should do ordered to remove. Few things they camped and so what you're seeing is he's my goods being told to dig up their shoelaces that something that they have to do before they're taken into custody. No belts no shoelaces. Morton came filing out of the. Brush the foliage from their hiding places clinging to their clueless and Border Patrol officers and police asked if they needed water. The new detainees weren't costs they were just loaded up and driven out it's a process that has become remarkably efficient because it has to be. Ex reporter now experiencing what senior DHS officials tell ABC news. He's a significant search across six B Biden administration has so far not permitted the Border Patrol took for granted interviews or ride alongs with the media. But the border is so active right now especially near McAllen Texas it's simply following. Border Patrol traffic. From reporters. Apprehensions. And it was near the Hamlet of employee at beneath the whole key wall. That we encountered this group about forty migrants according to Border Patrol. With children in tow and as we walked upright leader he gets hired him we weeping. People are crying right now because they are afraid that there could be sent back to their country. Mo Reese Gil and the recruits and their children to have Jesse in Dane is Seeking Asylum in the US. They say it's been up fifteen day journey there wasn't a train running rental car rides momentum 5000 dollar fee. To cut your news. What purported that they're saying please don't don't send us back. They showed us that neatly folded note pulled from that zip lock their lifeline the phone number of a family member in Baltimore. The towering wall of steel plates now wax is that giant catch basin for migrants crossing the Rio Grande onto US soil. But who can get no farther north than the wall death has always been hazard of this voyage but over the past two years for asylum seekers. Political purgatory on the Mexican side of the border. Has been another hazard. Crossing the border we visited this encampment of asylum seekers in the tomorrow's Mexico many feast. Tarps and behind this concertina wire about 700 migrants there are just some of the 25000. Migrants that have been waiting suburban. For up to two years for their chance to have their cases heard. In US. They were in this place because of the trump administration's remain in Mexico policy. Ordering that instead of waiting for a court hearings in the US most asylum seekers would be forced to wait in Mexico. But then came covic immigration courts closed. And that wait for families like blunt because in Jonathan's. It seemed indefinite. Last month a record ice storm slammed Texas and northern Mexico and they froze in fluency blankets. Seeing ice form outside for the first time in their lives. They also revealed the frightful risk. The couple talked in mid January crossing illegally into the US and on the days clunker gave birth to their son Jonathan junior. All so that their instinct would be stamped with a lifelong designation. US citizen. But within three days there were expelled him right back to Mexico. They waited through the cold in the thick heat of summer in a camp which hugs the Rio Grande US on the other side. Tantalizingly close. But the Biden administration has been quietly rolling back restrictions. Last Thursday Johnathan and Lanka were able to cross into Brownsville Texas illegal. Every day that not to Morrison campaigned get smaller we watched this is human rights lawyer explained to dozens of asylum seekers how the process would go. Made on Tuesday we caught up with Jonathan again are we staying at a motel in Brownsville he was cramped but they had beds and seats and food. He told us the news is going to fly to Boston Beer with a fan what kept Jonathan and Blunkett in Mexico was. Part of what Homeland Security chief Al hunt remain gore kiss. Calls the broken US immigration system. It takes time. To build out of the depths of cruelty that the administration. Before us established. What we your seat he's seeing now at the border. Is the immediate result. Of the dismantlement. Of the system and the time that it takes to rebuild it. Virtually from scratch. Changes that were already is simple in browns bills bus station officials here told us. These folks were recently apprehended along the border and then released from Border Patrol custody. With the promise that they would show up for immigration here X. Now and at the station they were being processed the first tested for cope it. Since you've been here on average what is the percent positive of the people coming across from its. Let's say. Them all animals that I have done everything about a hundred feet team. And from mills at least thirty arm. Plus you've had days worth thirty almost that the point 5% of the people come across what Kobe positive. Wow is that is that surprisingly high does that well that's a hypo active in Anaheim. Administration officials say they don't have room for all the migrants they've apprehended especially with cove its social distancing requirements. The backlog growing with the enormous influx of unaccompanied minors. We saw evidence. It Border Patrol operation near McAllen Texas. This young man saying he was from Honduras. DHS officials tell ABC news about 9000 unaccompanied children and teens. Crossed into the US just in the month of February and now officials are asking the Biden administration. To help them prepare 20000. Beds for minors crossing illegally. Most of them from Central America. The administration says this means it has been forced to house these youth in temporary shelters. Because of Kobe to and the need to vent their sponsors and in some cases those are the very same facilities. Heated by the trumpet administration. And to the migrants still heading north has but we CO in Marie Cruz had done. The administration asking eat for patients from all those crying we are not saying. Don't come. We are saying don't come now. Because we will be able to deliver. Safe and orderly process to them as quickly as possible. Meantime today it was a momentous day for Blanca and Jonathan Bender family and their first time on a plane. Headed to a place that until this week it sounded on imagine oblique gets to. Bostick. Hoping that like the baby you can block his arms they tube one game could call themselves American citizens. Matt Gutman ABC news McAllen Texas. Our thanks a Mac government for that report.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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