DEL RIO, Texas — Texas Governor Greg Abbott deployed a contingent of Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Highway Patrol troopers to stop the free flow of mostly Haitian migrants from crossing the Rio Grande. The force of nearly 1,000 troopers and National Guard soldiers entered the makeshift migrant camp housing nearly 15,000 migrants under the Del Rio International Bridge.
On Saturday afternoon, the troopers used vehicles and barbed wire to block access to a weir dam stretching the Rio Grande. The migrants utilized the dam as the primary crossing point from Mexico into the makeshift camp.
The Texas Department of Public Safety is in full force along the border around the Del Rio area.
They have built a barricade with their squad cars and State Troopers.
The National Guard is working with them to secure the border.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) September 18, 2021
As of late Saturday, the crossings had completely stopped after the DPS blocked access using vehicles and a rudimentary barbed-wire barrier. Just hours before, Breitbart Texas visited the camp by boat and witnessed the non-stop crossings of newly arriving migrants and those using the dam to bring in food and other supplies from Ciudad Acuna, Coahuila.
Although the migrants are being provided food and water by the Border Patrol and local authorities on scene, many chose to seek their own provisions from Acuna. Migrants also brought cardboard and other materials used to construct primitive shelters alongside the international bridge. Many have spent more than a week in the shelter. As Breitbart Texas first reported, the migrants began arriving in significant numbers earlier this month.Randy Clark
There are other areas that are being used by the migrants to ford the river, but none provide the shallow, easy access that the dam afforded. Bringing goods and supplies into the camp from Mexico will be near impossible without access to the dam. Authorities have been worried about tension building up in the camp as the population continues to swell.
The troopers and Guardsmen, deployed as part of Texas Governor Gregg Abbott’s Operation Lone Star have been dispatched to border communities since March. The contingent of more than 1,000 Highway Patrol troopers and Texas Army National Guard soldiers have focused primarily on blocking major migrant crossing points and increasing patrols along state highways leading away from the border.
Local hotels in the Del Rio area have been at capacity due to the surge of additional law enforcement officers brought in to help increase security at the camp. Several troopers unable to find accommodations in the area are being hosted by a local resident according to a source within DPS.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security proposed a six-point plan to address the situation at the camp. The plan involves the closure of two Ports of Entry in Del Rio, a surge of 400 additional Border Patrol agents, improvements to conditions at the camp, and diplomatic efforts to remove the migrants to other countries.
Two removal flights to Haiti are slated to begin on Sunday and continue at that pace for six days each week.
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.