EXCLUSIVE: Haitian Migrant Encampment Under Border Bridge in Texas Swells to 2,000

Del Rio Sector Border Patrol officials set up outdoor detention facilities due to overcrowding in processing centers. (Photo: Randy Clark/Breitbart Texas)
File Photo: Randy Clark/Breitbart Texas

DEL RIO, Texas — A source operating under the umbrella of U.S. Customs and Border Protection told Breitbart Texas the total number of mostly Haitian migrants being detained under the International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas, rose to more than 2,000. News reports in Mexico reveal hundreds more are on the way from Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico.

Reports from Saltillo say at least 12 buses departed the central bus station in recent hours — likely bringing more than 500 mostly Haitian migrants to Acuna, Coahuila, Mexico, directly across the border from Del Rio. Upon arrival, the groups will likely cross the Rio Grande immediately, further adding to the total detained outdoors.

Contra Punto Noticias, a media outlet located in Acuna, Mexico reported the groups crowded into Saltillo’s bus station arriving from other parts of Mexico. The report says the migrants are forcing their way on buses and will aggressively fight any delays in leaving the city.

As reported by Breitbart, the situation developing for the Border Patrol is worsening by the hour. On Sunday, the number of migrants the Border Patrol was forced to house in a makeshift outdoor camp under the bridge had reached more than 1,500. The Border Patrol in the area is struggling to process and transport the mostly Haitian migrants that are arriving daily.

Border Patrol must free up detention space through transfers to other facilities or by releasing migrants to nonprofit shelters. Either option requires buses and drivers, which are in short supply. According to the source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, processing facilities in the sector are facing issues of overcrowding and cannot accommodate the migrants being held outdoors.

The migrants, according to the source, are making multiple crossings at the river to seek food in Acuna, Mexico as they wait for transportation to a Border Patrol facility. The makeshift camp sits on CBP property beyond the border fence and is not accessible to or visible by the public. The detainees at the camp are not carried on any official detention rolls of the agency as they have not been booked into official processing programs.

Mexico is attempting to stop the flow of mostly Haitian, Cuban, and Venezuelan migrants in the southern state of Chiapas by withholding immigration travel documents until refugee claims are processed.

Despite Mexico’s attempts, hundreds are still arriving almost daily in Ciudad Acuna, opposite Del Rio, Texas. The migrants are facing little resistance once they manage to escape the efforts by Mexican law enforcement authorities at their southern border with Guatemala.

The Del Rio Sector leads the nation in the apprehension of Haitian and Venezuelan nationals — accounting for 69 percent of total arrests for these nationalities. The sector is ranked second in the nation for total migrant apprehensions, behind the Rio Grande Valley.

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.

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