‘The Mexican government’s fault’: Mexico played a central role in Del Rio border crisis

DCNFKaylee Greenlee, DCNF

  • Mexican officials released around 20,000 migrants in Tapachula ahead of the country’s national independence day, according to Center for Immigration Studies Senior National Security Fellow Todd Bensman. 
  • “Everyone [the migrants] was telling me, ‘they [Mexican officials] were having some kind of celebration and they told us to get out of the way for the festivities,’” Bensman told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
  • The migrants traveled to Del Rio, Texas, because cartels don’t charge migrants to cross the border in the area, according to Bensman.

Mexican immigration officials played a central role in the migrant crisis in Del Rio, Texas, Center for Immigration Studies Senior National Security Fellow Todd Bensman told the Daily Caller News Foundation Wednesday.

While Mexico was preparing to celebrate El Grito, the country’s independence day, federal officials told around 20,000 migrants they had three days to clear out of the region where they were waiting to be processed on Sept. 12, according to Bensman. Mexican officials responded to several groups of migrants who rioted in an attempt to get past the National Guard troops near Tapachula, Mexico, after delays in processing.

“Everyone [of the migrants] was telling me, ‘they [Mexican officials] were having some kind of celebration and they told us to get out of the way for the festivities,’” Bensman told the DCNF.

“So probably that same day, word just caught like wildfire through the social media networks and everybody just started boarding busses as soon as they could get one to Del Rio,” Bensman said. “If you talk to them [the migrants] … it is free to cross there, whereas it costs thousands of dollars in the Rio Grande Valley. So it was kinda like the pièce de resistance for water.”

The migrants told Bensman they were stuck applying for asylum and other permissions to be in Mexico while they were trying to travel north to the U.S. and a huge backlog formed.

“This is greatly the Mexican government’s fault, they did this,” Bensman told the DCNF. “This all happened because the Biden Administration demanded of Mexico that they slow the roll down there, that they keep the Mexican National Guard in place that was the Trump era deployment.”

“There was some money and vaccines and some other stuff – kind of like incentives there, so that’s why the Mexicans were requiring this,” Bensman added.

Mexican officials disregarded and disrespected their deal with the Biden administration, according to Bensman. Shortly after thousands of migrants set up the temporary encampment in Del Rio, Mexican officials started flying migrants back to the southern part of the country or back home and raided hotels in Ciudad Acuña, where many stayed before crossing into Del Rio.

Several of the migrants who arrived at the temporary encampment under the Del Rio International Bridge reportedly discarded their Chilean identification cards in Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, before crossing the Rio Grande River, the Daily Mail reported Thursday.

The migrants sought asylum in Chile and had jobs before they decided to leave for the U.S., according to the Daily Mail. Other migrants made the journey from well-off cities in Brazil.

Mexican immigration officials were supposed to stop migrant caravans from traveling north, but a group was allowed to travel through the country on Sept. 12, the Daily Mail reported. The migrants headed to Del Rio, Texas, because the Los Zetas cartel allowed them to cross the border for free there instead of paying up to $10,000 per person to be smuggled into the U.S.

Thousands of migrants overwhelmed U.S. border officials in the region so the Biden administration sent 600 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials to help process the migrants who set up a temporary encampment under the bridge, according to the Daily Mail. The Biden administration also increased deportation flights back to Haiti, but several migrants were released into the interior of the U.S., the Associated Press reported on Thursday.

More than 2,000 migrants at the Del Rio encampment decided to return to Mexico after they heard about widespread deportations, according to the Daily Mail. Those who left reportedly headed towards other border towns to try and enter the U.S. illegally.

Most of the migrants who arrived in Del Rio, Texas, came from Tapachula, Mexico, the Daily Mail reported. Mexican officials in riot gear stopped and physically beat migrants traveling in a caravan from Tapachula, Mexico, to the U.S., the DCNF reported Sept. 3.

Mexican immigration officials stopped a few hundred migrants from Central America, Cuba and Haiti in Tapachula, Mexico, on Aug. 28, the AP reported. Some of the migrants were arrested while others fled to nearby towns or were taken from the area in buses.

Former President Donald Trump required Mexico to implement strict immigration rules and the Biden administration reportedly asked Mexican officials to leave them in place, according to the Daily Mail.

Neither the DHS nor [Customs and Border Protection] CBP or the Mexican government responded to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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