PIEDRAS NEGRAS, TAMAULIPAS.- In Piedras Negras, Mexico, across from Eagle Pass, Texas, the city government chooses who escapes the reach of Title 42, according to a report last month from the University of Texas at Austin Strauss Center for International Security and Law. In Reynosa, across from McAllen, Texas, a migrant shelter picks who crosses, while in Laredo, Texas, there are no exemptions, the report says.
In San Diego, CBP exempts about 200 people daily, including 40 slots that are set aside for Russian speakers working through Calvary San Diego, said Enrique Lucero, the city of Tijuana’s director of migrant affairs, who regularly communicates with U.S. officials.
Other slots in San Diego are for advocacy groups Al Otro Lado, which operates an online registration list, and Border Angels, which leans on migrant shelter directors to select who gets to cross, and the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, a refugee resettlement organization.
CBP is allowing more Russians to enter the United States with Title 42 exemptions, with about 3 in 4 coming through California border crossings with Mexico. In October, it exempted 3,879 Russians, more than triple the same period a year earlier. It exempted 21,626 Russians in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, more than five times the previous year.
In the YouTube interview last month with Alex Moore, Metzger said his call center fields more than 1,000 inquiries a day. CBP tells him how many people can cross and “I control who crosses.”
“Honestly, we think it was God opening a door for us,” said Metzger, who grew up in Southern California but spent much of his adult life in Eastern Europe.
Metzger is unclear on who he pays to greet customers in Mexico and bring them to the border, saying he doesn’t know them.
Through a Telegram account called Most V USA, the cost for single adults paying cash was 1,800 (presumably U.S. dollars) Monday — a “price reduction.” For married couples paying cash, the cost was $3,500. Online payments were $300 less for individuals and $500 less for couples. Children were free.