EL PASO, TX – A large group of migrants in Mexico who were planning to invade the United States over the weekend were prevented from crossing a bridge that leads from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, to El Paso, Texas, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection official said.

The migrants “posed a potential threat of mass entry” and physical barriers were placed on the Paso del Norte International Bridge Sunday afternoon to limit their entry, spokesman Roger Mayer said in a statement to The Associated Press on Monday.

Barricades were also used briefly Sunday afternoon at the El Paso crossing at the Bridge of the Americas and one at Stanton, Meyer said.

Video of the scene on the Paso del Norte bridge on Sunday showed hundreds of migrants walking past Mexican National Guard officers on the Mexican side, some with children on their shoulders. Many looked Venezuelan by their accent.

Shouting “We want to pass!”, the migrants ran to the center line of the bridge, where US authorities had erected concrete and plastic barriers covered with barbed wire.

The migrants were stopped by the barrier, they remained on the Mexican side with cries of “Open to us!” to American officers. After some time, the migrants ran back towards Mexico.

Traffic was back up and flowing in both directions as of Sunday evening, Mayer said. It was not immediately known what caused the attempted mass crossing. A message was left at El Paso City Hall seeking comment.

MORE: The mayor of El Paso declared a state of emergency in response to the influx of migrants

The rush across the bridge may have been prompted by false rumors, said Camilo Cruz, who works with the UN migration office in Ciudad Juarez.

Cruz said that “there were rumors that they were going to let them in en masse, especially people who came with children.”

Cruz said the rumors are a recurring problem. About a month ago, reports began circulating “that there would be buses from the US to take them to Canada … and when they arrived, they were told that was a lie.”

The worst part, Cruz said, is that migrants often leave the shelters where they live to attend such mass crossing attempts, only to find the shelters full when they return.

Many of the migrants on Sunday appeared to be asylum seekers. One woman held out what looked like a ticket on the barricade. Migrants seeking asylum, a legal immigration route for people fleeing persecution in their own country, have been frustrated by the new restrictions on those arriving at the southwest border, as have many Venezuelans.

The U.S. government’s CBPOne mobile application for making appointments for asylum applications has been frustratingly overloaded since the Biden administration introduced it on Jan. 12. New meetings are available every day at 6 am, but migrants are stuck due to a message error.

Also disappointing is the pandemic rule, due to expire on May 11, which denies migrants the ability to apply for asylum on the grounds of preventing the spread of COVID-19. Under public health regulations known as Section 42, Mexico recently began taking back Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans who crossed the border.

In addition, the Biden administration said it would routinely deny asylum to migrants who show up at the US southern border without first seeking protection in the country they passed through.

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