Crowd of migrants who crossed the border by force and assaulted 2 officers were led by US activist

The crowd of migrants who tried to force their way across the US border in El Paso
The crowd of migrants who tried to force their way across the US border in El Paso
Khushbu Kumari

The American activist Roberto Marquez was identified as the instigator of the crowd of Venezuelan immigrants who forcibly crossed the border into El Paso where two Border Patrol officers were attacked

The crowd of migrants who tried to force their way across the US border in El Paso, Texas on Monday was led by an American artist and activist who was arrested .

Roberto Marquez, a US citizen from Dallas , told the New York Post that he organized the gathering of migrants who stormed border officials while waving giant flags from Venezuela, Honduras, as well as the United States with the caption “We migrants build USA”.

The situation turned violent after one Border Patrol agent was attacked with a flagpole and another was hit with a rock .

Border Patrol agents responded to the crowd using “less lethal crowd control measures” such as firing pepper bullets.

Brandon Judd, president of the Border Patrol union, told the newspaper that it was unusual to see such an apparently spontaneous uprising.

“That kind of organized effort doesn't normally come from people who just came from another country and are going to ask for asylum,” he said.

The migrants who rushed across the border were mostly Venezuelan asylum seekers who had already crossed the international border and been expelled to Mexico under a recent mandate by President Biden.

Venezuelans interviewed by and El Diario said the activist had instructed them to cross the river and cross the border.

Expelled migrants have been piling up on the Mexican side of the border, erecting a tented community as they wait for another chance to enter the US.

Marquez's son confirmed Friday that his father had been arrested and that his mother had been helping to get him released.

El Paso jail records show Marquez had been charged with failing to appear at a port of entry for inspection and released Friday.

The other man arrested, a Venezuelan citizen who has not been identified, will face charges of trespassing, which could mean he is deported from the US and barred from re-entry.

A video posted by Marquez shows him and another man presenting an American flag to Border Patrol agents before the confrontation between the migrants and the agents began.

Marquez's Instagram profile documents how he trained stranded Venezuelans to help him make the large American flag used in the protest.

It is not clear what consequences the act committed by Márquez will have on the Venezuelans who participated.

Although most ran back to Mexico, cameras at the border could identify and punish them if they try to cross back into the US.

On October 13, the Biden Administration applied Title 42 to Venezuelans, a pandemic measure to quickly expel immigrants from the US due to health problems.

Since then, around 1,800 Venezuelans have been returned to Mexico and find themselves penniless in Juarez, a Mexican border city located just across the border from El Paso.

That number is dwarfed by the total number of Venezuelans (189,000) who crossed the US southern border in fiscal year 2022, as people fled the country's failing economy and unstable political system.

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