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‘Worse than you could imagine’: Tent city under TX bridge tops 15K, Abbott forced to halt migrant flow

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The number of mostly Haitian migrants gathered in a tent city underneath a bridge in Del Rio, Texas, has swollen to more than 15,000, prompting a new crisis for the embattled Biden administration even as the border situation has been chaotic and porous for months.

Fox News correspondent Bill Melugin, who has been documenting the worsening situation on his Twitter feed as well as the network, expressed shock at the sheer numbers of migrants who are trekking into the United States unimpeded from Mexico.

“NEW: As of 7:15pm Del Rio time, here is what the situation under the international bridge looks like, where close to 15,000 migrants have camped out after crossing illegally. Many of the migrants have constructed makeshift shelters from sticks and plants,” Melugin posted Saturday evening along with video spanning the crowded, burgeoning encampment, which looks to be surrounded by law enforcement and Border Patrol.

In another tweet, Melugin captured a group of perhaps 100 or more migrants gathered on the banks.

“I am absolutely stunned by what I’m witnessing right now. We are on a boat in the Rio Grande near the Del Rio international bridge and we are watching as masses of hundreds of migrants walk across the river from Mexico and stream into the US illegally,” he wrote.

Later, Melugin reported that the flow of migrants into the U.S. had ceased after the Texas Department of Public Safety showed up in force, but the masses of people left behind mountains of trash, which could create a major public health crisis as well.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration has been claiming that the border is not open, but Fox News’ Griff Jenkins reported that sources told him that hundreds of miles of Tex-Mex border are currently not being patrolled because border and immigration agents have had to respond to the migrant crises in Del Rio and elsewhere.

Rep. Tony Gonzales, a Texas Republican whose district includes Del Rio, reported Saturday that there are so many migrants in the area that local grocery stores are running out of food while updating constituents on the situation.

“Border patrol agents are doing everything they can but it’s clear they need more support and they need it NOW,” he wrote. “Within 24-48 hours, DHS will have added 400 agents tasked to the Del Rio sector. The Del Rio Port of Entry has closed and traffic rerouted to Eagle Pass.

“DHS is also working to increase and accelerate repatriation flights to return migrants to their country of origin. This includes Haitians & Central Americans. There will be a surge of 8 ICE flights this coming week, up from 2-5 flights before, with more flights to come,” he added, noting that shortages of accommodations also exist for federal agents.

“There is a shortage of housing for agents that are being sent to Del Rio. We are looking at every option possible to find them shelter while they are there, that could potentially include Laughlin AFB. Collaboration is key right now,” he wrote.

“I’m continuing to get messages from our Del Rio community on the ripple effects. There are food shortages in grocery stores, restaurants have closed early to make food for the camp & workers who usually commute from Mexico are unable to get to work resulting in a shortage of help,” he added.

Rep. August Pfluger, another Texas Republican, told Fox News he visited the sector on Saturday and that worse is “yet to come.”

“Speaking to Border Patrol agents, the worst is yet to come, they’re worried about what is behind here, they’re worried about co-ordination with Mexico,” he said. “It’s worse than you could imagine.”

Pfluger and other lawmakers have blamed the surge in Haitians on the Biden administration, which stopped repatriation flights back to the Caribbean nation earlier this month.

“So when those flights were stopped by the U.S. government…they got the word and it was like ‘go time,’” he said.

He also noted that the situation presents a dire security problem in the making.

“If they decided to riot or if unrest happened, it would be a terrible situation,” he said. “It is ripe. It is 100 degrees outside right now and you literally have 14,878 people here — this is how serious the situation is.”

Jon Dougherty

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