Migrants, most of whom are Haitian, are currently crowded under a Texas border bridge
By Cassandra Fairbanks, Guest Journalist
NATIONAL — On Sept. 17, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has reportedly restricted the airspace above a Texas border bridge to prevent drones from flying over.
Thousands of additional migrants are expected to pour into the already overflowing makeshift Del Rio camp in the coming days.
The surge is so overwhelming that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is sending additional agents from across the country to help.
“The Border Patrol is increasing its manpower in the Del Rio Sector and coordinating efforts within the Department of Homeland Security and other relevant federal, state and local partners to immediately address the current level of migrant encounters and to facilitate a safe, humane and orderly process,” Customs and Border Protection said in a statement. “To prevent injuries from heat-related illness, the shaded area underneath Del Rio International Bridge is serving as a temporary staging site while migrants wait to be taken into USBP custody.”
Jon Anfinsen, the top Border Patrol union official in the Del Rio Sector, told Arkansas Online that sanitary conditions are the site are very poor. Currently, there are only 20 portable toilets at the camp for roughly 8,000 people.
“We’re scrambling to bring every resource we can, but it’s a logistical nightmare,” Anfinsen said. “We’re pulling agents from across the country to help, but they’re not going to be there today, and we’re just trying to keep heads above water.”
“Many agents are mothers and fathers, and seeing kids in this situation is sad for everyone,” Anfinsen said. “Morale is terrible.”
Customs and Border Protection figures show that more than 29,000 Haitians have arrived at the southern border over the past 11 months. Mexican authorities have been declining to take back Haitians that the Biden administration has tried to expel under Title 42 of the U.S. public health code in recent months.
Del Rio Mayor Bruno “Ralphy” Lozano is begging the Biden administration to do something to end the surge.
“I thought the worst-case scenario was having a couple people, maybe 150 people roaming the streets,” Lozano told Arkansas Online. “Although I foreshadowed a worst-case scenario, this is probably a 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.”
In August alone, 208,887 migrants were detained at the border.
Cassandra Fairbanks is a journalist for TimCast, News Politics, and Culture. Original story published on Sept. 17, 2021.