Agroup of undocumented migrants started a protest at the southwest border on Monday, prompting U.S. authorities to close the Paso Del Norte International Bridge, which links El Paso, Texas with Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) “took precautionary steps and initiated port hardening measures after a large group formed at the base of the crossing on the Mexican side.”
Authorities placed barricades in the middle of the bridge as a precaution. The bridge was closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic for about three hours until the situation quelled down.
The protests started after more than 300 migrants were amassed on the Mexican side of the border in protest of the online app they are required to use to apply for U.S. asylum hearings.
Migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. are required to download the CBP One app and fill out a form and submit their information in order to schedule an appointment at a border entry port and apply for asylum.
“The CBP One app is an innovative solution we are using to facilitate the safe and orderly arrival of noncitizens who believe they meet certain vulnerability criteria and are requesting a humanitarian exception to the CDC’s Title 42 Order,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in January.
However, the app, which was released in 2020, has been plagued by technical issues. Disgruntled users claim that the app crashed when they try to upload any information for the asylum application, hindering their asylum claims and delaying the process.
Other errors that have been brought up include the app’s failure to recognize darker skin colors when using facial recognition technology, as well as scheduling different appointment times for members of the same family.
The app’s problems are also reflected in its score on the app stores: it currently has a rating of 2.5 out of 5 on the Apple App Store and a 2.7 on the Google Play Store.