DEL RIO, TX — Texas Public Radio caught up with a couple, newly processed asylum seekers who were picked up from underneath the Del Rio International Bridge. The woman the reporter talked to is 9-months pregnant. The couple traveled to Del Rio from Cuba. When Ciudad Acuña was broadcasted to immigrants as a shallow area in the river to wade across, busloads of people mostly from Haiti, but also Cuba, and other countries in South America converged on Del Rio. The Biden Administration said Saturday that expulsion flights were to begin immediately to Haiti, Mexico, Ecuador, and Northern Triangle countries.
Friday afternoon, freelance photographer Auden B. Cabello tweeted a video of coach buses full of to-be immigrants flowing into the Mexican border city of Acuña across from Del Rio.
Most of the immigrants are seeking asylum according to multiple reports. As the number of migrants swelled under the bridge to 15,000, Congressman August Pfluger mentioned that the Biden Administration must restart the Title 42 flights. Shortly thereafter the DHS stated that, “The majority of migrants continue to be expelled under CDC’s Title 42 authority. Those who cannot be expelled under Title 42 and do not have a legal basis to remain will be placed in expedited removal proceedings.”
Fox News’ reporter at the scene, Bill Melugin, said CBP Chief Raul Ortiz told reporters at the Del Rio border that single adult men are being expelled via flights under Title 42, but most family units are processed and allowed to travel into the interior of the U.S. as they await administrative court dates called NTAs. or Notices to Appear.
Meanwhile, the DHS announced that DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas will arrive in Del Rio Monday to assess the situation. Mayorkas spoke with Del Rio Mayor Bruno Lozano Sunday. The mayor said that the current rate of processing increased from around 500 a day Saturday to 3000 Sunday and he expressed his appreciation. The Del Rio Civic Center is being used by multiple law enforcement agencies for logistics, he said. The mayor said Sunday afternoon he believed adequate law enforcement was now on location.
CBP Chief Raul Ortiz told reporters at the bridge that he expects to have the migrants cleared out within a week. He also said as the CBP mobilizes, nearly 600 federal agents will be on scene by Monday. The DPS spokesman said troopers will remain there as long as needed.
The crossings into the US from Acuña of 15,000 migrants started late last week and continued until Saturday. All crossings were happening at a weir dam about 1,000 feet north and upstream of the international bridge. After walking across the dam, migrants turned right and walked on a dirt road along the shoreline to the bridge that spans about 800 feet before reaching the bank of the Rio Grande. Fox News reporter Melugin posted video on Twitter of hundreds of migrants crossing the dam on Saturday.
According to the Texas DPS, in an interview with 830Times publisher Joel Langton, the DPS strategized a show of force in cooperation with the CBP. Several dozen DPS vehicles swarmed the road from the international bridge to the weir dam. At the weir dam 18 DPS SUVs were positioned up to the shoreline at the dam. The maneuver ceased almost all crossings. Overnight Saturday to Sunday, CBP Chief Ortiz said the there were no crossings detected.