DEL RIO, Texas – Thousands crossing the border in Del Rio are ending up under an international bridge, according to the city’s mayor.
In July, Border Patrol in the Del Rio sector came across about 300 undocumented migrants. Del Rio’s mayor says 2,200 people showed up on Monday, and that number continues to grow.
“This is beyond crisis. This is urgent. This is dire,” said Bruno J. Lozano, mayor of Del Rio.
“We have up to 4,000 people that crossed the Rio Grande,” he said.
Lozano says the build-up under the bridge began Monday. The total by 3:30 p.m. Wednesday now stands at 5,600 migrants, many of which are Haitians, Lozano says.
Seeking asylum is a legal process where migrants give themselves up at the border before their cases are scheduled in court.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection confirmed the bridge is serving as a temporary staging site to provide a shield from the heat while migrants wait to be taken into Border Patrol custody.
CBP says drinking water, towels and portable toilets have been delivered for the migrants to use.
Border Patrol says it’s increasing the number of agents in the Del Rio sector and coordinating efforts to address the current level of migrant encounters immediately.
Lozano applauded Border Patrol efforts but said it’s an overwhelming situation that he saw coming.
“We’re in unprecedented times, and I did relay this message back in February to the administration, and I’m still waiting for the plan of action,” he said.
Lozano expects more migrants to be heading to Del Rio.
Border Patrol says most single adults and many families will continue to be expelled from the country under Title 42 amid the pandemic.
As agents try to process the multitude of migrants, capacity and where to put them all will be part of several factors impacting these procedures.