CRISIS: Customs Shuts Down International Bridge Over Amistad Dam in Del Rio
DEL RIO, TX — The international bridge at the dam at Lake Amistad near Del Rio will close, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced from their Office of Field Operations Laredo Field Office announced May 9. This is one of two international crossings in Del Rio.
The closure is due to the high number of migrants-turned-asylum-seekers arriving there. The port facility there does not have a facility to process these individuals, CBP stated in a press release.
The Amistad Dam port-of-entry is situated just west of where many of the maquiladora twin plants are located in Ciudad Acuña, which is Del Rio’s sister city on the Mexico side of the border. Closing it will force all international traffic through the main port-of-entry east of there, on the south side of Del Rio.
The closure will happen Monday. The port-of-entry was usually open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. seven days a week. On Monday, May 13, 2019, the port will not reopen.
CBP said the closure will last 30 days and during that time, agents assigned to Amistad Dam will be reassigned to other ports-of-entry. At the end of 30 days, CBP said it will re-assess whether or not to re-open Amistad Dam’s port.
As of March 31, 2019, the CBP has apprehended 361,087 migrants for FY 2019 which began Oct. 1, 2018, an increase of 108 percent. Of that, CPB said there is a 374 percent increase of apprehensions of migrants traveling with families, including children. Apprehensions of single adult migrants continue to increase as well. CBP said of the 361,087 apprehensions this FY 2019, 135,000 were single male adult migrants.
CBP told Congress May 8 that three trends are a significant challenge to border patrol: Family units and unaccompanied children; The demographic makeup of the apprehended are from countries other than neighboring Mexico, including Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador; and the number of migrants making asylum claims.
CPB testimony added that, “The high number of claims, combined with the low initial threshold for credible fear, immigration court backlogs, and the amount of time it takes to process cases creates lengthy stays in the United States while the claim is adjudicated. This facilitates abuse of the asylum system while delaying legitimate claimants in need of protection.”
The CBP statistics were given to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Border Security and Immigration May 8 in Washington, D.C.
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