Secretary of Homeland Security travels to Del Rio for update on Haitian migrant situation
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas will be in Del Rio on Monday to receive an operational briefing on steps being taken to address the situation involving the mass expulsion of Haitian migrants from the border city.
Texas lawmakers to tour Texas-Mexico border in Rio Grande Valley on Wednesday
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar and U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales will tour the Texas-Mexico border in the Rio Grande Valley on Wednesday to get an update on the migrant surge in the region. The congressional delegation from Texas will be joined by Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.
TRUST INDEX: A pair of popular memes make unfounded claims about border situation
With an increase in media coverage and attention to the rise in migrant crossings into the United States, the use of social media and memes has also increased, many of which, mischaracterize what’s happening on the border.
Several volunteers dispute reported ‘credible’ allegations at Freeman Expo Hall
Based on their experiences there, several volunteers at the Freeman Coliseum Expo Hall said they were surprised by Gov. Greg Abbott’s announcement Wednesday that Texas Rangers are investigating possible abuse and other “credible” allegations at the facility.
Gov. Greg Abbott wants facility housing migrant children in San Antonio closed after reports of abuse, understaffing
Gov. Greg Abbott called on the federal government to close a facility housing migrant children at Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio after complaints of abuse and understaffing were received this morning.
Contractor hired to provide services for migrant teens in SA unprepared for their arrival, San Antonio city manager says
A contractor hired by the federal government to provide services for the migrant teens being housed at the Freeman Coliseum was not prepared for their arrival, according to City Manager Erik Walsh.
Local officials tour shelter for unaccompanied migrant children at Freeman Coliseum
SAN ANTONIO – U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, Bexar County Precinct 1 Commissioner Becky Clay-Flores and San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg toured a shelter for unaccompanied migrant children at Freeman Coliseum on Tuesday afternoon. The tour was held less than 24 hours after buses with about 500 migrant children who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border arrived at the Freeman Coliseum Expo Center. The group wanted to visit the facility to make sure the children were being given the proper housing and support. The U.S, Department of Health and Human Services is working to make sure the unaccompanied children are unified with their families or put with suitable sponsors in the U.S. Bexar County Precinct 1 Commissioner Becky Clay-Flores and San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg appear at a news conference after touring a shelter for unaccompanied migrant children at Freeman Coliseum on Tuesday afternoon.
Small Texas border town considered ‘hot zone’ for migrant traffic
ROMA, Texas – A small town in Texas that borders Mexico is an area that is considered a “hot zone” for migrant traffic, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. Hundreds of migrants have made their way into Texas by crossing the Rio Grande River from Ciudad Miguel Alemán in Tamaulipas, Mexico. In February, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials stated in a news release that agents had apprehended more than 16,000 family units. AdOn Friday, our crews witnessed smugglers crossing over five rafts of anywhere between 12 to 15 migrants packed onto each raft. Ad“We saw cages after cages after cages of little girls and little boys lying side by side, touching each other, covered with reflective emergency blankets.
Up to 2,400 migrant children will be temporarily housed at Freeman Coliseum, county leaders say
SAN ANTONIO – Bexar County leaders have entered a deal with the federal government to provide temporary shelter at Freeman Coliseum to migrant children who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border without an adult family member. As many as 2,400 unaccompanied migrant children will be housed at the expo halls at Freeman Coliseum starting next week, Wolff said. The county charged HHS the “standard rate” to rent the building and officials said the county would be reimbursed for any other costs incurred. The children will be tested for COVID-19 before coming to the Freeman Coliseum and then will be tested every five days while they’re here, Wolff said. The Pentagon announced on Wednesday that Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland would also be used to house unaccompanied migrant children, but Wolff said Lackland would not facilitate as many children as Freeman will.
Castro leads congressional delegation of Carrizo Springs facility tour for unaccompanied migrant children
CARRIZO SPRINGS, Texas – U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro of San Antonio on Friday led a Democratic congressional delegation tour of the Carrizo Springs Office of Refugee Resettlement facility for unaccompanied children at the border. Castro said the lawmakers visited the facility to make sure the children are being “respected and humanely treated” and to make sure they are placed with their family sponsors or relatives as soon as possible. Castro said the current problems at the border were created by the Trump Administration. President Biden inherited a situation where the previous administration had sought to dismantle the infrastructure for processing asylum seekers in the United States,” Castro said. Castro also said the Trump Administration used the pandemic as an excuse to expel people who were seeking asylum.
Data: How the latest spike in migrants at U.S.-Mexico border compares to past years
The numbers are clear: federal immigration and border agents are dealing with a massive influx of migrants crossing into the United States through the country’s southwest land border. According to the latest data available from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Border Patrol agents logged 100,441 apprehensions in February along the U.S.-Mexico border. AdThe spike in migrants entering federal custody at the border has led to an outcry from Republican leaders like Texas Gov. Even still, the 2019 and 2021 numbers have been eclipsed in 2007 and before that. We have no illusions about how hard it is, and we know it will take time.”Read more on our Border page or Data page:
Corruption in Central America seen as biggest challenge for Vice President Kamala Harris
SAN ANTONIO – Long-running corruption in Central America will be the biggest challenge confronting Vice President Kamala Harris, said Dr. Betsy Smith, Ph.D, chair of the department of political science at St. Mary’s University and an expert on Democratic crises in Latin America. “We really have to consider how we’re going to solve the problem when the people who can help us solve the problem are a part of the problem,” Smith said. President Biden has made Vice President Harris his point person in Central America, the same role he had in the Obama administration during the migrant surges in 2014 and 2015. AdAsking Harris to take on the root causes of the current influx at the border, “makes a lot of sense,” Smith said. “This is really a first chance to show her skills and to show her abilities as the vice president,” Smith said.
Uvalde residents voice concerns about increase in migrant border crossings
UVALDE, Texas – Like the rest of the southern border, the U.S. Border Patrol Del Rio Sector is also seeing an increase of migrants crossing the border. Some Uvalde residents are voicing concerns and say migrants have caused property damage. Think about the guys that are on the border,” Sewell said. “I have some encounter with either the Border Patrol or illegal traffic at least four times a week, if not 10 times a week,” Sewell said. In the last fiscal year, which ended in February, Del Rio Sector Border Patrol agents apprehended 6,438 families and 2,410 unaccompanied children.
Mennonite Church helps two-year separation come to an end for sisters seeking asylum in the US
SAN ANTONIO – Even the day after two sisters from Honduras were reunited in San Antonio, seeing the joy and relief in their faces was “just beautiful,” said Pastor Katie Best-Richmond of the San Antonio Mennonite Church. Up until then, she said, “We’ve all been nervous and scared.”Rosa and her younger sister, Maritza, had not seen each other in two years. Yet, somehow, Maritza was able to quickly apply for asylum at the border and was released only about a day later. She said, given the sisters were reunited this week even as the influx at the border continues, “It is a miracle. “They are just absolute joys, and they are so kind and loving to everyone that they meet,” Best-Richmond said.
Two plans in the works to help reduce future migrant arrivals
SAN ANTONIO – The unaccompanied minors and families arriving at the Texas-Mexico border are said to have risked everything to reach the United States. Erica Schommer, clinical law professor at the St. Mary’s School of Law, said the Biden administration has two possible solutions in the works that could help reduce the number of arrivals at the border in the future. Started by the Obama administration, then stopped by the Trump administration, Shommer said the Central American Minors program is being reinstated. AdAlthough they could seek refugee status in their home country, Schommer said they could do the same in another country. Schommer said the only difference between a refugee and an asylum seeker is where they’re identified to meet the standard of protection.
Laredo’s only overnight shelter braces for more migrant arrivals
Let’s be prepared.’”Smith said Laredo’s only overnight migrant shelter with just 70 beds expects to receive families still left in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, under what had been Migrant Protection Program under the Donald Trump administration. Holding Institute could see migrants arrive by the end of the month, Smith said. Smith said people are tested before leaving Mexico, and again, when they arrive at Holding Institute. Smith said he’s also seeing more families being released from two detention centers in Webb County, perhaps to make room for more arrivals as early as April. Smith also said the lack of uncertainty over the policies under the new Biden administration have made many cautious about crossing.
Border relief agencies appeal for help of their own to meet growing demand
SAN ANTONIO – Relief groups, many of them faith-based organizations, are appealing for help of their own to meet the needs that are growing along the border. “We’re seeing increased traffic, and we’re expecting that to continue,” said Dan Klein, chair of the Interfaith Welcome Coalition. Klein said those groups and the Interfaith Welcome Coalition itself still need more of the public’s help. The coalition is appealing for donations and volunteers on its Facebook page and specific items on its Amazon wishlist. So does the Val Verde Humanitarian Border Coalition, along with an appeal for donations and volunteers on its Facebook page.
Fact-checking Gov. Abbott’s claim of migrants entering Texas border cities with virus
“They cannot cross the border without having a negative test result,” Romero said. The other group is people who crossed the border illegally and are dropped off by U.S. Customs and Border Protection under the catch-and-release program. Of those tests, 169, or just over 13%, tested positive, but that’s just for the city of Brownsville. Romero said local non-governmental organizations have set up shelters and hotel rooms for those who test positive to stay in and quarantine if they choose to. Romero said the city received 10,000 Rapid COVID-19 tests from the Texas Department of Emergency Management to facilitate the process.
Rio Grande Valley residents react to President Trump’s scheduled visit
RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas – President Donald Trump is taking a trip to Texas just days after the chaos at the Capitol. He is set to arrive in the Rio Grande Valley at Valley International Airport on Tuesday afternoon. “I hope that there’s nothing repeated from last week that happens tomorrow,” Vargas said. AdTerence Garrett, professor of Political Science at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, believes the president will take this opportunity to highlight his administration’s work on the border. READ MORE:Trump heads to Texas border in final days to showcase wallWhat to know about President Trump’s visit to the Texas border Tuesday
City of Del Rio, Ciudad Acuna communicating often during pandemic to ensure citizen health safety between borders
How City of Del Rio is responding to COVID-19There are two international land border crossings in Del Rio, including the Del Rio International Bridge and the Amistad Dam International Bridge. The Amistad Dam International Bridge is temporarily closed, and the Del Rio International Bridge has been limited to essential travel because of the ongoing pandemic. AdAgustin Angeles, with the Consulate of Mexico in Del Rio, said in March, they began communicating with Del Rio and Cuidad Acuna officials about the coronavirus pandemic. “On March 13 was the first time the emergency team from the city of Del Rio reached out to us asking for a meeting with health authorities in (Cuidad) Acuna,” Angeles said. Currently, there are 14 confirmed coronavirus cases in Ciudad Acuna and 13 confirmed cases in Val Verde County.