Rep. Tony Gonzales, R-Texas, on Thursday visited the chaotic and squalid migrant camp that has formed under the International Bridge in Del Rio, and was shocked by what he saw, as the numbers of predominantly Haitian migrants has doubled in just 24 hours.
Gonzales, whose district includes Del Rio, told Fox News that the camp where more than 8,000 migrants have gathered “is as bad as I’ve ever seen it, and I’m not taking that lightly.”
“When you see the amount of people and how chaotic it is and how there is literally no border, folks are coming to and from Mexico with ease, its gut wrenching and its dangerous,” he said.
Drone footage from Fox News taken earlier in the day shows the number of migrants under the bridge, who are just waiting to be apprehended by Border Patrol, has surged within a single day.
On Wednesday, the numbers were more than 4,000 but by Thursday morning that number had spiked to approximately 8,200, a source told Fox. A source told Fox that Border Patrol was overwhelmed and that the situation is “out of control.”
Meanwhile, a law enforcement source said that a large majority of the migrants are Haitians and more are arriving at the bridge by the minute.
While there are fears that many more thousands of Haitians could be on the way to Del Rio, Gonzales stressed that the situation was already perilous, both in terms of sanitary conditions and in terms of national and border security.
“The sheer amount of people, it’s like getting hit by a 2×4,” he said. “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.”
Gonzales said that the surge in migrants, who he said were mostly single males, was triggered by a move by the Biden administration to cancel a number of repatriation flights to Haiti. A Border Patrol source separately told Fox News the same thing. DHS did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News.
Gonzales said the cancelation had led not only to migrants being rejected rather than repatriated, but had also sent a signal to Haitians that now was the time to try and enter the U.S. along with the loosening of other border protections like the Migrant Protection Protocols — which kept migrants in Mexico for their hearings.
“These are things DHS Secretary [Alejandro] Mayorkas can do today, reinstate Remain in Mexico, re-implement these repatriation flights, send the people back to their countries of origin, but they’re not doing that and that’s what is causing this problem,” he said.
More immediately, he said that he was concerned with the impact it would have on the small town of Del Rio, which is not equipped to handle such a surge in numbers.
“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.”
He also warned that in addition to the impact on Del Rio, it would soon have an impact on cities across the country.
“These folks, they’re not staying in Texas, they’re literally going to every city, they’re going to Miami, they’re going to Chicago, they’re going to New York City, San Francisco, they’re going to a neighborhood near you and it impacts everybody.”