While visiting a migrant shelter Saturday, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) grew concerned about a woman who was 38 weeks pregnant and suffering from preeclampsia and other complications. The senator and his staff decided to take the woman, her husband and 3-year-old son to a port of entry to make their asylum claim.

At the Paso del Norte Bridge linking Juárez and El Paso, the family approached two Customs and Border Protection officers, presented their identification and said they wanted to request asylum. They then heard the words that tens of thousands of asylum seekers have been told for more than a year at the U.S.-Mexico border: “We’re full,” a CBP officer told them.

Wyden, who had followed behind the family along with an entourage of staff members and friends from Oregon, then stepped forward and identified himself. He told the officers that Mexicans are exempt from the “metering” program CBP has used to strictly control the number of people allowed to request asylum at ports of entry. He also told the officers the woman was late term in her pregnancy and suffering complications.