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Hundreds of migrants line up at border west of San Ysidro ahead of Title 42 expiration

Title 42, which allowed U.S. agents to turn away asylum seekers at the border due to the pandemic, is set to expire next week.

SAN DIEGO — The Biden administration is sending 1,500 more troops to the southwest border to help with an expected surge of migrants when Title 42 expires next week.

On Tuesday, hundreds of migrants lined up west of San Ysidro, waiting to claim asylum.

Chopper 8 captured video of exhausted people lined up and laying on the ground just a few feet from the border.

“These are people who have been migrating for a long time and a distance, we have people from not only central America but from Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, people from African countries that are seeking shelter,” said immigration rights advocate, Pedro Rios.

Border Patrol agents were providing water, but several migrants from the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa told CBS 8 they had not eaten in days.

“It has been five days now we don't eat,” said one man, who asked not to be identified for fear that speaking out would hurt his chances of getting into the United States.

“We’ve got more problems here because we have more than 100 people here and no one is eating. We are men. We have to eat something,” he said.

Rios says he expects to see more migrants present themselves at ports of entry as the end of Title 42 approaches.

“My hope is that customs and border protection responds in a way that meets their basic humanitarian needs while at the same time respecting the asylum process which at this time we don’t see that commitment from the Biden administration,” he added.

Once the pandemic era policy is lifted, asylum claims will be processed under Title 8.

Many immigration rights advocates believe it’s the wrong approach to dealing with the crisis.

“To me, it does not resonate, it means that the Biden admin is not well prepared to administer people as they’re making asylum claims," said Rios.

There are a total of 7 border processing facility stations in the San Diego Sector including a temporary processing station in Otay Mesa.

Title 42, which allowed U.S. agents to turn away asylum seekers at the border due to the pandemic, is set to expire next week.

WATCH: Hundreds of migrants line up at border west of San Ysidro ahead of Title 42 expiration

Customs and Border Protection already has started loading people onto buses and transporting them to Border Patrol stations to be processed.

CBS 8 followed one bus to the Imperial Beach Border Patrol station, where dozens of migrants were arriving to be processed.

CBS8 also confirmed a temporary Otay Mesa facility used to process migrants already in Border Patrol custody will now be used to help process migrants under Title 8, which takes over once Title 42 expires.

A Border Patrol spokesperson said,

"All stations within San Diego Sector, to include the temporary facility, are involved in the processing of migrants. There is no single location responsible for processing.

Asylum claims are processed under Title 8."

Migrants will undergo credible fear interviews to determine if they qualify for asylum hearings, because of persecution or fear of harm in their home countries.

“We need to be received by the United States because we come from troubled places with a lot of violence,” one Colombian migrant said from behind the border wall west of San Ysidro.

The man said he flew from Bogota to Mexico City and then took a bus to the Tijuana border.

He said Border Patrol is allowing women and children to cross into the U.S. but not men.

“Border Patrol told us this morning to line up and wait and we've been here for hours and nothing is happening. They can't fit us in the shelters right now, so we have to wait,” he said.

"Sending military to the border is not the answer," said immigrant rights activist Enrique Morones, founder of the migrant-rights group Gente Unida.

"We have never had a wall or sent military to the Canada border, and there's been hundreds of thousands of people who have come through that border without papers," Morones added. 

In an attempt to stem the influx of migrants to the Mexican border, the Biden administration is setting up migrant processing centers in Guatemala and Colombia to screen migrants, to determine if they qualify for asylum before they come to the border.

"It might help a little bit, but it still doesn't stop the reason why they're leaving their homeland," Morones told CBS 8. "They are leaving their homeland not because they want to but because they have to."

Customs and Border Protection emailed CBS 8 the following statement:

"The United States Border Patrol’s San Diego Sector continues to address the increasing exploitation of migrants by human smugglers. 

San Diego Sector’s operational posture and response strategy are based on comprehensive analyses of current migration patterns. Border Patrol Agents leverage all available resources to apprehend, transport, screen, and process migrants who are smuggled into the United States by human smugglers as expeditiously as possible. 

Border Patrol Agents run records checks on all apprehended migrants to identify criminals and migrants who are subject to mandatory custody."

WATCH RELATED: Hundreds of migrants detained at U.S.-Mexico border ahead of Title 42 expiration (May 2023).

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