Over 10,000 migrants trying to make their way into the United States are now camped under the Del Rio, Texas bridge separating Mexico and the United States in the latest border crisis, with thousands more apparently on the way in the largest migration seen in years.
Although more than 195,000 people were arrested by US Border Control authorities in August alone, a seemingly endless stream of humanity is still coming from the South, with many of them economic migrants from Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela — while some of them are asylum seekers from Cuba.
More than 10,000 migrants are currently waiting under the bridge, hoping to be processed by US authorities at present, but according to US Representative Tony Lozano, there are thousands more on the way, “almost as if this is a flash mob,” he stated to reporters.
The Del Rio bridge connecting Texas to Mexico is now a makeshift camp for those who hope to enter the US, mostly as economic migrants.
The US Supreme Court reinstated the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” policy, prompted by coronavirus concerns, which stipulates that migrants must stay in Mexico while awaiting a decision on their case.
However, on Thursday a federal judge blocked the rule turning away those attempting to cross the border. The ruling is supposed to come into effect in two weeks’ time.
In recent months, the numbers of migrants that were sent back to Mexico as part of the policy gradually declined.
Haitians Make up Majority of Migrants
The Biden Administration had sought to end the practice, which requires asylum seekers and economic migrants to wait in Mexico, not in the US, in centers that are full to bursting.
A number of migrants told reporters they have already received paperwork from US border officials, and their cases are currently waiting to be processed.
Haitians make up most of the throng hoping to cross over into the US.
Government officials and human rights groups believe they are most likely part of a new wave of migrants heading to the US after fleeing to South American after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Recently, another quake in Haiti took place, just months after the President of the country had been assassinated.
Border Crisis is “Worst of worst-case scenarios”
A new wave of migrants headed north almost immediately after Joe Biden was elected President, apparently in hopes that a less stringent immigration policy would be enacted by the incoming Democratic president.
Since then, record numbers of migrants have crossed the border while Texas governor Greg Abbott pledged to keep building the border wall along Texas’ southern edge that had been stated under the previous US administration.
Del Rio Mayor Bruno “Ralphy” Lozano told the Washington Post that the current migrant debacle is the “worse case of worst-case scenarios.
“I need the administration to recognize that there is a border crisis happening in real time right now and it has dire consequences on security, health and safety,” he stressed.
He added that there appears to be a more sinister aspect of the crisis as well, noting that many of the migrants now at the border arrived in buses; this appears to be part of an ongoing human trafficking operation.
The US Customs and Border Patrol said in a statement the agency was increasing staffing in Del Rio to facilitate a “safe, humane and orderly process”.
Drinking water, towels and portable toilets have been provided, the statement added, while migrants wait to be transported to facilities.
FDA Issues Ban on Drones Over Bridge, Impacting News Coverage
The Biden administration, which pledged to change the US’ immigration policy, has faced sharply increased border crossings and a political backlash over its seeming inability to stop the human tide from Mexico.
Late on Thursday, the Federal Aviation Administration placed a two-week-long flight restriction for the airspace atop the bridge that is nw the epicenter of illegal immigration along the Texas border.
This prevents journalists from obtaining overhead photographs or video footage of the enormous crowd that has gathered there.
“We’ve learned that the FAA just implemented a two week TFR (Temporary Flight Restrictions) over the international bridge in Del Rio, TX, meaning we can no longer fly our FOX drone over it to show images of the thousands of migrants. FAA says ‘special security reason,’” Fox News reporter Bill Melugin tweeted angrily on Thursday evening.
Crowd Doubled Since Tuesday
The reporter added that his organization has been employing drones for months as part of the normal coverage of news events, and there has never been an issue in the past with the practice.
“We have reached out to the FAA to ask for clarification on why this TFR was implemented,” Melugin tweeted. “We haven’t heard back yet. Will update if/when we do.”
The FAA responded by stating “The Border Patrol requested the temporary flight restriction due to drones interfering with law enforcement flights on the border.
“As with any temporary flight restriction, media is able to call the FAA to make requests to operate in the area.”
The FAA ban sparked criticism from conservatives on social media, including Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas.
“What a coincidence,” Cotton tweeted. “The FAA better be ready to explain to Congress why they’re suddenly blocking the media from covering Biden’s border crisis.”
One migrant, named Carlos, is a 27-year-old Venezuelan. After deciding to leave his country, which has devolved into a socially and economically failed state, he made his way to Mexico, hoping to cross over into the US. Per his estimates, the camp under the Del Rio bridge had doubled in size just since he came to the area on Tuesday.
He told reporters from Reuters that be believed there were 400 families ahead of him in the line awaiting processing.
Mexican and American officials both acknowledge that there are many more people now making their way to the area.
— New York Post (@nypost) September 17, 2021