An alarming number of migrants have continued to gather under the bridge in Del Rio, Texas, increasing fears of a riot or stampede, while other migrants will find a much easier route to the United States as the Biden administration announced an expansion to a program to fly relatives and children over the border on the American taxpayer’s dime.
Reports of the number of migrants currently in the Del Rio migrant encampment currently range from 10,000 to 12,000 which is causing concern of a possible “human stampede.”
This number has swelled from reports in early August that placed the number at around 1,000 migrants gathering under the Del Rio International Bridge in the border town.
“Mayor Lozano said the numbers are rising, conditions are dire, and there’s fear of a stampede or riot,” tweeted reporter Vanessa Croix from local San Antonio station KENS 5 on Friday.
EXCLUSIVE video inside the migrant encampment in Del Rio @CityofDelRio Mayor Lozano said the numbers are rising, conditions are dire, and there’s fear of a stampede or riot
— Vanessa Croix (@VanessaKENS5) September 17, 2021
Univision posted a similar report on Thursday, reporting that Border Patrol agents share the mayor’s fears of a human stampede despite the presence of the National Guard to assist border patrol agents.
Univision reports that the Border Patrol is fearful of getting overrun in a “human stampede” at Del Rio. Is this at least part of the rationale behind the FAA’s shutdown of drone overflights? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/QZbmbYUIyo
— Jorge Bonilla (@BonillaJL) September 17, 2021
“Dire circumstances require dire responses,” Mayor Bruno Lozano told the Texas Tribune. “There’s people having babies down there [under the bridge], there’s people collapsing out of the heat. They’re pretty aggressive, rightly so — they’ve been in the heat day after day after day.”
In response, Lozano reportedly moved to declare a disaster and plans to close the bridge, stopping the flow of traffic into or out of Mexico, citing security and infrastructure threats.
Mayor of Del Rio is declaring a disaster and is going to move to close the bridge tolls on the international bridge to stop all traffic into Mexico from Texas or the other way. He says he can’t guarantee safety of personnel if the migrants overtake the area. pic.twitter.com/klXBRnPyzO
— Arelis R. Hernández (@arelisrhdz) September 17, 2021
The situation is so desperate in the encampment that the mayor also posted a plea on social media to President Joe Biden on Thursday wondering if he was even aware of the extreme situation. To put the crisis in perspective, the Democrat mayor explained that over 2,000 additional migrants had gathered in the encampment in a single day, bringing the total to over 10,500 which he explained was around one-third of the population of the city of Del Rio.
— Mayor Bruno “Ralphy” Lozano (@BrunoRalphy) September 17, 2021
While it’s unclear if Biden got the mayor’s message, Biden’s administration announced earlier in the week that it will be expanding the Central American Minors (CAM) program which allows certain migrants to petition the U.S. government to have their families join them at the U.S. taxpayers expense.
The program, which even leftists have acknowledged allows for taxpayer-funded flights to shuttle the migrants over the border, was revived by the current administration in March.
The Department of State and Homeland Security issued a joint statement about the program.
“Eligibility to petition will now be extended to include legal guardians (in addition to parents) who are in the United States, pursuant to any of the following qualifying categories: lawful permanent residence; temporary protected status; parole; deferred action; deferred enforced departure; or withholding of removal. In addition, this expansion of eligibility will now include certain U.S.-based parents or legal guardians who have a pending asylum application or a pending U visa petition filed before May 15, 2021,” the statement read.
A U visa petition is used for alleged victims of criminal activity such as violence to petition for temporary immigration benefits.
The program, which has been criticized as a “side door” immigration policy allowing vast numbers of immigrants into the country, was originally announced in 2014 under President Barack Obama when Biden was serving as vice president. However, President Trump ended the program in August 2017.
“We are proud to announce that the [Biden administration’s] CAM application has been approved. New applications will be accepted beginning September 14. Throughout August, resettlement support center partners were trained to support families during the process,” the statement said. “We are firmly committed to welcoming people to the United States with humanity and respect, and reuniting families. We are delivering on our promise to promote safe, orderly, and humane migration from Central America through this expansion of legal pathways to seek humanitarian protection in the United States.”
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