A striking video released Saturday showed thousands of migrants camping under a Texas bridge with makeshift shelters made from sticks and plants.
Posted to Twitter by Fox News reporter Bill Melugin, the video shows approximately 15,000 undocumented, mostly Haitian migrants camping under the Del Rio International Bridge with shelters made of sticks and blankets, according to the Texas Tribune. An overwhelming influx of Haitian, along with a smaller number of Cuban, Venezuelan and Honduran migrants, have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border into Del Rio in recent days.
NEW: As of 7:15pm Del Rio time, here is what the situation under the international bridge looks like, where close to 15,000 migrants have camped out after crossing illegally. Many of the migrants have constructed makeshift shelters from sticks and plants. @FoxNews pic.twitter.com/i6tyPxSw25
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) September 19, 2021
Border officials reported Friday that over 9,000 migrants were waiting to be processed under the Del Rio International Bridge. A few hundred crossed the Rio Grande River, prompting President Joe Biden’s administration to ramp up deportation flights and deploy 400 federal agents to the bridge, the Tribune reported.
The migrants have been living in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions, reportedly sleeping on the dirt floor in brutally hot temperatures that have often reached over 100 degrees. Del Rio Mayor Bruno Lozano previously said that the migrants have no access to food, water and bathroom facilities and asked Del Rio citizens to help in assisting the immigrants, according to the New York Times.
“These are 9,000 people really anxious and stressed,” the mayor said. (RELATED: Thousands Of Migrants, Mostly From Haiti, Overwhelm Border Officials In Texas)
An influx of Haiti migrants began to enter the U.S. in June in response to the assassination of Haiti President Jovenel Moise and a series of earthquakes. Border Patrol agents deployed by the Del Rio Station arrested a total of 180 Haitians attempting to cross the southern border by June 11.
Republican Rep. Tony Gonzales told the Tribune that the migrants reportedly arrived at the border in busloads with instructions from WhatsApp.
Gonzales said it is necessary for the Biden administration to reinstate the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” policy, that requires migrants to reside in Mexico as they await their immigration court hearings in the U.S., the outlet reported.
“The sooner the administration can reinstall the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy, that will help alleviate some of that stress in Del Rio, and I think that the administration is going to have no choice,” Gonzales said.
Democrat County Judge Lewis Owens claimed that ten buses brought migrants to Del Rio overnight and blamed the Mexican government for allowing the illegal migration to reach the U.S.
“We have 15,000 people here and why did they come to Del Rio? They come to Del Rio and crossed to Del Rio because the Mexican government allowed it to happen on the Mexican side,” Owens said, according to the outlet. “Nobody has ever seen something like this here, in terms of the scale.”