The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a “comprehensive strategy” on Saturday, September 18, to process thousands of migrants trying to cross from the Mexican city of Acuna into the United States via a bridge near Del Rio, Texas.
The strategy included sending an additional 400 Customs and Border Protection agents to Del Rio over the following 24 to 48 hours, the temporary closure of the Del Rio Port of Entry, a rerouting of traffic to Eagle Pass, and an increase in “the capacity of removal flights to Haiti,” a statement said. Border Patrol was also transporting people from Del Rio to other processing locations, the DHS added.
More than 10,500 people had amassed under the bridge by Thursday evening, according to City of Del Rio Mayor Bruno “Ralphy” Lozano, who called on the Biden Administration for help. Republican Senator Ted Cruz, who visited the site on Thursday, described the situation as “indefensible” and “inhuman,” and blamed immigration policies implemented by the Biden-Harris Administration.
“10,503 illegal aliens are under this bridge tonight because Joe Biden made a political decision to cancel deportation flights to Haiti,” Cruz said.
This footage, taken Friday evening by Michael Garofalo, shows the scene under one side of the bridge, where numerous makeshift shelters were erected. “It’s effectively a shantytown down there,” Garofalo says while filming. “It’s unbelievably sad.”
On Saturday, Rep Tony Gonzales, a Republican representing Texas’s 23rd Congressional District, said said the number of people at the bridge had increased to around 14,000. Credit: Michael Garofalo via Storyful