New images of the Haitian migrant surge in Del Rio, Texas show chaotic scenes on the ground as numbers soar past 11,000 and Custom and Border Protection (CBP) surges more agents to the area amid reports that tens of thousands more could be on the way.
Fox News footage shows Haitian migrants walking across a dam in the Rio Grande, where they have traveled then to the International Bridge in their thousands, raising concerns of a new chapter in the relentless crisis at the southern border that has exploded under the Biden administration.
On Wednesday, the numbers under the bridge were more than 4,000, by Thursday morning that number had spiked to approximately 8,200 and by Friday it was over 11,000. Multiple sources told Fox News that they have been told that there are “tens of thousands” more on their way.
Fox had been using a drone to film the astonishing scenes of the thousands of migrants gathered under the bridge, but on Thursday evening the Federal Aviation Administration placed a restriction over the bridge.
“The Border Patrol requested the temporary flight restriction due to drones interfering with law enforcement flights on the border,” the FAA said in a statement. “As with any temporary flight restriction, media is able to call the FAA to make requests to operate in the area.”
The FAA approved Fox News’ request on Friday. Before that, Fox filmed from a Texas DPS helicopter the scenes under the bridge.
A source had told Fox on Thursday that Border Patrol was overwhelmed and that the situation is “out of control,” while Texas lawmakers have expressed horror at the squalid scenes of thousands of migrants huddled under the bridge waiting to be processed into the U.S.
“The sheer amount of people, it’s like getting hit by a 2×4,” Rep. Tony Gonzales, R-Texas, told Fox News in an interview on Thursday. “You think you’re in a third-world country, and this is the United States, this is Del Rio Texas, and there is literally no border at all — it’s just been muddied over.”
“To feed these migrants, provide them three meals a day would cost the city of Del Rio $1 million a week,” he said. “This is a small town that does not have any resources and yet they are literally having to come up with millions of dollars a week to handle this crisis — it’s unfair to them.”
“This is a disaster, and it is a manmade disaster,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said, who also shared images of the chaos. “When you have open borders, this is what you get.
Cruz and others have said that the surge was caused in part by a cancelation of deportation flights to Haiti, which led to more Haitians making the journey to the U.S.
A DHS official told Fox News that a flight to Haiti went out on Wednesday and said flights are continuing, although they could not provide details on upcoming flights due to operation and security factors.
Customs and Border Protection told Fox News that Border Patrol is “increasing its manpower in the Del Rio Sector and coordinating efforts within DHS and other relevant federal, state and local partners to immediately address the current level of migrant encounters and to facilitate a safe, humane and orderly process.”
“Drinking water, towels, and portable toilets have been delivered for migrants to use while they await to be transported to a facility,” a spokesperson said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Del Rio Mayor Bruno Lozano called for the administration to act on the crisis.
“This is just something that needs to be brought to light, that we need quick attention from the administration, we need quick attention to this, we need a response in real time,” he said.