(USA Features) A U.S. representative said Saturday that in excess of 15,000 migrants gathered in a tent city below a bridge in his district is causing food stores to run out.
Rep. Tony Gonzalez, R-Texas, said stores in Del Rio are emptying because they weren’t prepared for a dramatic increase in the number of people in the area.
He added on social media that the situation in the area really deteriorated over the past couple of days as the number of migrants, most from Haiti, swelled from around 8,000 to around 15,000.
“Border patrol agents are doing everything they can but it’s clear they need more support and they need it NOW,” Gonzalez wrote, noting further that the Department of Homeland Security is expected to have added 400 agents to the area to assist with the new crisis.
“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 continued.
“Title 42 is still being used to expel some migrants but others will be released in the U.S. while awaiting immigration proceedings. This policy is disastrous & I’ll continue to push to resume Remain in Mexico so migrants no longer have an incentive to be released in the U.S.,” the Texas Republican continued.
“ICE and CBP will also be flying migrants to other processing sectors to relieve some of the burden from Del Rio. Some will be taken to El Paso, other[s] to Laredo, with possibility for other locations,” he noted further.
“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.”
Gonzalez added that the Biden administration’s newest border crisis is having a substantial impact on local businesses and their ability to serve the community.
“I’m continuing to get messages from our Del Rio community on the ripple effects,” he wrote.
“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,” said the lawmaker.
Earlier, the Biden administration said it would re-launch deportation flights, taking most Haitians back to their home country, beginning Sunday.