As cities like El Paso, Texas, continue to find themselves flooded with migrants illegally streaming across the border by the thousands, American citizens who missed a sign at a border crossing are being fined thousands of dollars.

The story is just the latest bizarre tale from the border, where things are growing ever more dire by the day.

Travelers from Los Angeles are being detained and fined several thousand dollars for using the wrong lane when crossing the border from Mexico into the United States.

Two Los Angeles residents told KTTV-TV this week they were detained and forced to pay fines so their cars would not be impounded after accidentally using the Sentri Lane, which only permits pre-approved travelers to use.

This was no minor incident:

“They shackled me to this metal bench as I waited for three hours,” Rose, a Burbank, California resident, told the outlet about her experience at the Tijuana/San Ysidro Port of Entry, where she accidentally used the Sentri Lane, which has concrete barriers that make it impossible for a car to leave the lane once it has entered.

This seems to be a standard protocol:

Attorney John Manley told the outlet he has represented drivers who have been detained and fined for using the wrong lane.

“They basically shackle you to a bench for two, three hours,” Manley said. “They say, ‘Yep, we’re gonna take your car,’ or, ‘we’re gonna fine you $5,000,’ for what amounts to being in the wrong lane of traffic.”

Agents from the CBP said that drivers are issued a $5,000 fine only if they have used the Sentri lane for the third time, but California residents told KTTV-TV they never received a warning.

Meanwhile, social media is filled to the brim with videos of migrants crossing the Rio Grande River into El Paso, literally thousands at a time, with no such shackling or penalties.

The lesson here is the only people prevented from crossing the border from Mexico to the United States are U.S. citizens.


Cross-Posted with Flag and Cross