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Homeland Security Secretary in Del Rio, Texas: ‘Our borders are not open’

DEL RIO, Texas (Border Report) — Homeland Safety Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Monday turned the highest-ranking Biden administration official to go to the distant and beleaguered border city of Del Rio, Texas, the place 1000’s of migrants, largely Haitians, reside below the worldwide bridge in hopes of claiming asylum.

Throughout a information convention on the Del Rio Worldwide Bridge — which remained closed for the fourth day by federal officers — Mayorkas made it clear that migrants needn’t strive. And he warned others to not head north.

“I wish to guarantee that it’s recognized this isn’t the way in which to return to the US,” Mayorkas mentioned. “Our borders will not be open and other people mustn’t make the damaging journey.”

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Repatriation flights for Haitians are taking off from Laughlin Air Pressure Base, just a few miles east of Del Rio, Texas. (Sandra Sanchez/Border Report)

He mentioned that repatriation flights to Haiti are taking off two or 3 times each day.

Most are leaving from Laughlin Air Pressure Base, and a few from the Del Rio Worldwide Airport.

On Monday, 3,000 migrants have been despatched for processing to different areas, relocated by U.S. Coast Guard and different federal officers. This provides to the three,500 despatched from this area in the previous couple of days, he mentioned.

Mayorkas was flanked by U.S. Customs and Border Safety Appearing Commissioner Troy Miller and U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz, who’s from Del Rio, and who landed on the bottom Sunday, a day after 15,000 migrants have been reportedly within the bridge encampment.

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A line of Haitians launched by federal officers head to catch a constitution bus on Monday, Sept. 20, 2021, leaving from the Val Verde Humanitarian Border Coalition migrant heart in downtown Del Rio, Texas. (Sandra Sanchez/Border Report)

Ortiz mentioned the worldwide bridge between Del Rio and Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, will stay closed so long as crucial.

That is regardless of “1000’s of {dollars} per hour” being misplaced within the area’s cross-border maquiladora business, Del Rio Mayor Bruno Lozano informed media Sunday.

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Haitians are seen on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, ready below the Del Rio Worldwide Bridge. (Sandra Sanchez/Border Report)

“We’re reaching our objectives. We’re getting there — to some extent the place we are able to handle the inhabitants and we’ll see this proceed within the upcoming days,” Ortiz mentioned.

However when pressed to quantify what’s actually occurring, Ortiz admitted the state of affairs below the bridge stays precarious and solely midway below management.

“We have now half of the world on lockdown and we’re working getting the opposite facet of the bridge, getting it locked down,” Ortiz mentioned.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas, visited the world final week. He criticized Mayorkas’ go to to Del Rio, calling it “yet one more photo-op go to right now to South Texas in an try to avoid wasting face for President Biden and his administration’s failures.”

Cruz mentioned the inflow of 1000’s of migrants not too long ago admitted into the nation by the Biden administration is straining well being assets throughout this coronavirus pandemic, and costing the state billions.

“Get to work securing our southern border,” Cruz mentioned.

Lots of the migrants have crossed in ankle-deep water in a dam simply upriver from the bridge.

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Migrants are seen on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, crossing a dam part of the Rio Grande into Del Rio, Texas. (Sandra Sanchez/Border Report)

A complete of 600 Border Patrol brokers and CBP officers have been despatched to the world. They be a part of 1,000 state troopers and Nationwide Guard members despatched final week by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Some are coming from as far west as El Paso.Del Rio a ‘flashpoint’ in immigration crisis where troopers are being surged 

And with so many individuals descending on this city of simply 35,000, there isn’t a lodge room for miles, nor are there sufficient employees to function the accommodations at full capability, locals inform Border Report. Moreover, lots of the lodge employees stay throughout the river and can’t get to their jobs with the bridge closed.

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Nationwide Guard models Monday, Sept. 20, 2021, barricade the doorway to the border fence that results in the Del Rio Worldwide Bridge in South Texas. (Sandra Sanchez/Border Report)

On Monday, Abbott despatched President Joe Biden a letter requesting a federal emergency declaration be declared for your entire state of Texas, as a result of Del Rio state of affairs, which he wrote is draining state assets.

“This surge poses life-threatening dangers to residents of Val Verde County and is rapidly overrunning legislation enforcement and well being care and humanitarian assets which have been by no means meant for use on this capability,” Abbott wrote within the five-page letter. “The catastrophe triggered from people unlawfully crossing the Texas-Mexico border is of such severity that supplementary federal help is critical to reduce the specter of catastrophe, save lives, and shield property, public well being, and security.”

“Supplementary federal help is critical to reduce the specter of catastrophe, save lives, and shield property, public well being, and security”

TEXAS GOV. GREG ABBOTT

Border Patrol brokers on horse patrol are enjoying an integral position in riverine safety operations, Ortiz mentioned, defending criticisms that some are overly aggressive with the migrants below the bridge.

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A United States Border Patrol agent on horseback makes use of the reins to try to cease a Haitian migrant from coming into an encampment on the banks of the Rio Grande close to the Acuna Del Rio Worldwide Bridge in Del Rio, Texas on September 19, 2021. – America mentioned Saturday it could ramp up deportation flights for 1000’s of migrants who flooded into the Texas border metropolis of Del Rio, as authorities scramble to alleviate a burgeoning disaster for President Joe Biden’s administration. (Picture by PAUL RATJE/AFP by way of Getty Photos)

This can be a cost that Mayorkas mentioned Monday could be absolutely investigated. Late Monday, DHS tweeted: “The footage is extraordinarily troubling and the information realized from the complete investigation, which might be carried out swiftly, will outline the suitable disciplinary actions to be taken.

Mayorkas additionally confused Monday that solely Haitians who arrived in the US earlier than July 29 are eligible for Temporary Protected Status under the Biden administration.

A lot of the Haitians who’re crossing inform media they’ve been dwelling in South America for a number of years, and lots of now communicate Spanish.A ‘dire situation’ for over 12,500 migrants under the bridge in Del Rio, Texas 

Mayorkas flatly mentioned they gained’t be allowed to remain below Title 42 well being orders which might be in place on the U.S.-Mexican and Canadian borders to cease the unfold of coronavirus.

The journey restrictions have been set to run out on Tuesday, however Jeff Zients, the White Home Coronavirus Response Coordinator, mentioned throughout a information convention on Monday that the important journey restrictions instituted in March 2020 have been extended for at least another month.

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Border Patrol brokers on horseback patrol a migrant encampment below the Del Rio Worldwide Bridge on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021. (Sandra Sanchez/Border Report)

Mayorkas described it as a “entire of presidency” strategy attacking the state of affairs, which incorporates the Division of Well being and Human Providers rendering medical help, nonprofits offering meals and help, native legislation enforcement brokers serving to to patrol, and even the San Antonio Fireplace Division providing help.

“This can be a very troublesome state of affairs for us. It’s terribly difficult. It is rather, very heartbreaking,” Mayorkas mentioned.

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