Border authorities say they will close holding pen under Texas bridge for asylum seekers

Hundreds of migrants seeking asylum are held in a pen under the Paso Del Norte bridge Thursday in El Paso.
(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

U.S. immigration officials say they will close an open-air pen holding migrants seeking asylum under a bridge connecting El Paso with Juarez, Mexico, just a short distance from where a senior official declared an “operational crisis” at the border last week.

In a statement Sunday, Customs and Border Protection said migrants being held under the Paso Del Norte International Bridge will be moved to a place with more space and shelter.

The holding area is a few hundred yards from where agency Commissioner Kevin McAleenan announced Wednesday that 750 border inspectors will be reassigned to help handle an influx of families from Central American seeking asylum.

The area held hundreds of migrants outside in a pen lined with concertina wire under a bridge.