Tens of thousands of migrants are expected to attempt to enter the United States in the next few days, after a Covid-era immigration policy known as Title 42 expires late on Thursday. The policy allowed the rapid expulsion of migrants on public health grounds.
Most migrants crossing the border are adults traveling alone. Others travel in family groups, big or small, carrying children and whatever supplies or belongings they can hold. They muscle across rivers, lift one another through challenging terrain and often rely on the generosity of community groups for food and water.
New York Times photographers are documenting the experience on both sides of the border, from Tijuana on the West Coast to Matamoros near the Gulf of Mexico.
Migrants being processed by the U.S. Border Patrol at dawn.
Migrants waiting in line to be processed by Border Patrol.
Migrants clustered near a border fence to buy food ordered through delivery apps as they waited for the next leg of their journey.
Migrants lined up to be processed by U.S. authorities. Some had been waiting in the same spot for days.
Many migrants journeyed across Mexico on freight trains.
Venezuelan migrants prayed at an improvised altar for the dozens of people who died in March in a fire at a federally run detention center in Ciudad Juárez. Mexican investigators said that government workers and private security employees had not allowed detainees to escape.
Men who had previously entered the United States waited in a bus to board a deportation flight at El Paso International Airport.
People being repatriated to Guatemala boarded a jet.
Migrants rushed to reach places on the northern bank of the Rio Grande before U.S. soldiers could finish installing concertina wire to block their access.
Migrants who were processed at the border washed a vehicle in hopes of being given money to pay for bus tickets to continue farther into the United States.
Asylum-seeking migrants crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico, as National Guard soldiers waited on the riverbank on the U.S. side.
After crossing the river, migrants followed a path up from the riverbank into U.S. territory.
Maritza Carrizo, an asylum seeker from Barinas, Venezuela, sat on a bunk bed at a migrant shelter. She and several relatives had appointments the next day to cross the border and request asylum.
At 10 a.m., dozens of other migrants attempted to book asylum appointments using the Border Patrol’s smartphone app. Most of the newly available appointment times were taken within five minutes, they said.
Migrants lined up for lunch at the shelter.
Karolayn Paz Majares, a Venezuelan migrant, cried after hearing that migrants would be allowed to stay on U.S. soil as they waited to surrender to the Border Patrol.
A member of the Texas Army National Guard spoke with a migrant about a plan to install fencing around an area near Gate 40 of the border wall, where migrants who have crossed the river have been waiting to turn themselves in. The point would be to encourage more migrants to turn themselves at official ports of entry — like international airports, road and rail crossings, and major seaports — rather than at the border gate.
A Venezuelan migrant shielded herself from the sun with her passport while waiting in line for processing by American border officials.
Migrants rode in open freight cars across an arid landscape toward the border.
Venezuelan migrants who had come north on a freight train crossed the border a few hours after getting off it.
Ruben Soto, right, a migrant from Venezuela, with Rosa Bello, a Honduran migrant, as they rode on a freight car. They were traveling together after meeting in Chiapas.
Migrants crossed through a gap in concertina wire on the United States side of the border. Some were ferrying supplies of food and water.
Crowds of migrants gathered near the border fence to turn themselves into the Border Patrol for processing.
About 200 members of the Texas National Guard arrived in El Paso by air to provide assistance along the border.
Venezuelan migrants climbed between hopper cars on a freight train as they try to make their way to the border.