September 22 (WNN) — DELE RIO – As immigration agents continue to drive thousands of migrants camping in this border town to other processing centers or back to their home countries, state troops used a mile-long “steel” of patrol vehicles to discourage more wall” is built. People crossing the Rio Grande in a encampment under the Del Rio International Bridge.
According to Val Verde County Sheriff Joe Frank Martinez, more than 15,000 migrants, many of them Haitians, have crossed the river to seek asylum in recent days, but on Tuesday morning that number narrowed to an estimated 6,200 camps under the bridge. Was.
It’s not clear how officials are deciding which migrants are being allowed to request asylum and who are being deported back to their countries of origin, but here at a charter bus stop at a gas station, Many migrants were allowed into the country. Pending asylum claims, there were families with young children and pregnant women.
Many of them had yellow numbered stamps and said that Border Patrol agents classified them based on colored stamps – yellow for groups including pregnant women, blue for families with children, and red for single men and women. Green.
“Perhaps people who have children are being served notices to appear [in immigration court], and then the others… I don’t know what they’re going to do,” Martinez said.
Martinez said 700 state troops are patrolling near the migrant camp and around the city as immigration agents work to transport migrants from under the bridge. Some are being sent to other immigrant processing centers in El Paso, Laredo and Veslaco, Martinez said.
World Central Kitchen, a non-profit organization that usually provides food to people after natural disasters, has started preparing food for the remaining migrants.
On Sunday, US Border Patrol Chief Raul El Ortiz, a Del Rio native, said there were no more migrants crossing the river at the camp. A Border Patrol spokesman did not respond to an email asking whether there have been more crossings since then. Martinez said the number had dwindled, but about 50 families or individuals were given tickets on Tuesday night.
Greg Abbott of Texas Gov. credits the Department of Public Safety Vehicles’ “wall of steel” for stopping migrants.
“One day there were countless coming across the border, then the same day the Texas Department of Public Safety installed all these DPS vehicles,” Abbott said during a news conference near the camp on Tuesday. “And all of a sudden, in an instant, people stopped crossing the border at this place. That strategy is working.”
Abbott has made immigration enforcement a priority for his administration, advancing an agenda that includes building more barriers along the Texas-Mexico border, arresting and prosecuting migrants crossing the Rio Grande on state charges. suing, and suing the Biden administration for what the governor described. President Joe Biden’s open border policies.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration has faced mounting criticism from his own party for expelling many migrants under Title 42, the pandemic health order issued under the Trump administration, allowing migrants seeking asylum in Mexico or their home countries. To expel swiftly without the opportunity of. .
Immigration rights advocates and lawmakers have also criticized Biden for how Border Patrol agents have treated migrants, with photos and videos showing agents charging horses and migrants attempting to cross the Rio Grande into Del Rio. have been shown.
On Tuesday, US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Meyercas tweeted that his agency, which oversees the Border Patrol, will investigate the agents’ actions and that the agents involved have been placed on administrative duty.
“They are not performing their other law enforcement duties and they are not interacting with other migrants at this time,” Meyerkas said in the tweet.
Organizers of the Haitian Bridge Alliance, a San Diego-based non-profit that is helping migrants in Del Rio with clothing, food and shelter, criticized the government for what they call inhumane treatment of asylum seekers .
“The Biden administration must end this violence and fix the broken immigration system they perpetrated during the campaign,” the group said in a statement.
A 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti in August, a month after the assassination of its president – the latest tragedy for a country battered by political instability and turmoil. Many migrants in Del Rio lived in Chile for years after the devastating 2010 Haiti earthquake, then recently made the trek to Texas.
Many of them said they left Chile because of racist behavior in the South American country and because the pandemic caused the closure of many jobs.
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune. Read the original here. The Texas Tribune is a non-profit, non-partisan media organization that informs – and engages with – Texans about public policy, politics, government, and statewide issues.