More than 2,000 mostly Haitian and Venezuelan migrants crossed the Rio Grande at Del Rio, Texas, during the past week. Several hundred migrants remain at the river’s edge awaiting transport and processing due to logistical problems plaguing the Border Patrol.
The flow of more than 2,000 such migrants in a week is such that the Border Patrol cannot keep up with the detention space required to detain the large groups at temporary detention and processing facilities in the area, according to a source with CBP who spoke with Breitbart Texas under the condition of anonimity. It is not uncommon for outdoor space to be used for detention due to the increase in migrant crossings in the area, Breitbart reported.
Mexico previously attempted to hold back the Haitian, Cuban, and Venezuelan migrants in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas. As reported by Breitbart Texas, clashes resulted between the migrants and Mexican immigration authorities. The Mexican government is withholding immigration travel documents and requiring migrants to remain at the southern border with Guatemala while their refugee claims are processed.
Despite Mexico’s attempts to deter the migrants, hundreds are arriving almost daily in Ciudad Acuna, Mexico, just across from Del Rio, Texas. Immediately upon arriving, according to the source, the migrants quickly cross the river and surrender to Border Patrol agents.
The Del Rio Sector of the Border Patrol leads the nation in the apprehension of Haitian and Venezuelan nationals — accounting for 69% of the total arrests for these nationalities.
According to the source, the increase became more noticeable after DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced the eligibility of Haitians for Temporary Protected Status on May 22.
Mayorkas elaborated on the conditions in Haiti in his announcement of the eligibility for Haitians to apply for Temporary Protected Status in May.
“Haiti is currently experiencing serious security concerns, social unrest, an increase in human rights abuses, crippling poverty, and lack of basic resources, which are exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. After careful consideration, we determined that we must do what we can to support Haitian nationals in the United States until conditions in Haiti improve so they may safely return home.” Mayorkas said.
In addition to the TPS designation, political unrest has plagued Haiti since the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse in July. Complicating matters further, a major earthquake struck the island nation in August and claimed the lives of more than 2,200 inhabitants.
The increase in migrant crossings in the Del Rio area has caused concerns for residents and is straining local non-governmental agencies attempting to accommodate the increased flow.
Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.