More than 10,000 illegal immigrants, most of whom are from Haiti, are awaiting asylum under the Del Rio International Bridge after crossing the Rio Grande into the United States this week, with more expected in the coming days, according to local officials. , Reuters. reported Friday.
Gov. Greg Abbott announced that Texas will close six points of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border due to a massive influx of migrants.
“I have directed the Texas Department of Public Safety and National Guard to increase personnel and vehicles to close six points of entry along the southern border to prevent these caravans from invading our state,” Abbott said in a statement, according to Xinhua.
“The border crisis is so serious that US Customs and Border Protection requests our help as their agents are overwhelmed by chaos,” said the governor, criticizing the administration of President Joe Biden for “sheer negligence.” to secure the border.
Marsha Espinosa, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security, told CNN on Thursday that she “is not seeking help from the state of Texas to close the ports of entry.”
“It would be a violation of federal law for the Texas National Guard to do so unilaterally,” the spokesman said.
On Thursday, local media reported that in Del Rio, a city of 35,000 in southwest Texas, thousands of migrants, mostly from Haiti, were huddled in the dirt in a temporary parking area under the Del Rio International Bridge. , waiting to turn himself in to the United States Border Patrol and apply for asylum.
ONLY IN: Large numbers of migrants gathered at the international bridge in Del Rio, Texas, waiting to be processed into the United States.pic.twitter.com/SNdJsE824V
– Insider Document (@TheInsiderPaper) September 16, 2021
“Six, seven days ago, Del Rio saw 400 migrants sitting, under the bridge, the (point of entry) in downtown Del Rio, there are about 6,000 sitting there right now and more are coming,” Victor Escalon, director Texas regional. Department of Public Safety said Thursday.
Due to the overwhelming number of migrants in Del Rio, all entry points will be closed, he said.
Del Rio Mayor Bruno Lozano said Thursday that there were about 9,000 “really anxious and stressed” migrants waiting to be processed under the bridge, and called on the federal government to help the city.
According to The New York Times, authorities and city officials expect thousands more to cross the ankle-deep river between Mexico and Del Rio in the coming days (NYT).
According to the US Border Patrol, more agents will be dispatched to the region “to immediately address the current level of encounters with migrants and facilitate a safe, humane and orderly process.” as stated in the report.
– WFLA NEWS (@WFLA) September 17, 2021
According to the New York Times, the scene of dense crowds sleeping on the ground or circling amid deteriorating sanitation prompted condemnation from local officials.
According to the city’s mayor, there was little access to clean water and food in the temporary camp under the bridge, and there were only a few portable toilets.
A federal judge also on Thursday barred the Biden administration from turning away migrant families with children under a public health order related to the Covid-19 pandemic, effectively ending the administration’s efforts.
Another federal judge in Texas ordered the Biden administration last month to reinstate a border policy implemented during the administration of former President Donald Trump that required migrants to remain in Mexico until their cases were heard in U.S. immigration courts.
Arrests at the U.S.-Mexico border have reportedly remained at their highest level in more than two decades, with more than 208,000 recorded in August alone.