Del Rio bridge

Texas public safety officials respond to the humanitarian crisis in Del Rio.

(The Center Square) – House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is urging President Joe Biden to deploy the National Guard to help Texas personnel to resolve a humanitarian crisis resulting from roughly 14,000 people illegally congregating under the Del Rio International Bridge in the border town of Del Rio, Texas.

“The Biden Administration must recognize this for what it is: A National Security Crisis," McCarthy said. "As such, he must fully deploy the National Guard to the southern border to help our Border Patrol agents with more resources to control the situation.

“It is no coincidence this is happening as Democrats in Congress are moving to pass legislation that would grant immediate citizenship for up to 10 million illegal immigrants. This is a wakeup call to Democrats that their policies are putting American lives in danger and must be abandoned.”

Biden has not deployed any military to help the Texas National Guard, Texas Department of Public Safety, and Department of Homeland Security even though Laughlin Airforce Base is located in Del Rio. 

Despite DHS saying it is deporting people from the area, the numbers have only continued to climb. On Sept. 9, there were several hundred people, which surged to 9,000 by Sept. 16, Val Verde County Sheriff Joe Frank Martinez said. Del Rio Mayor Bruno Lozano told reporters at a news conference that an additional 20,000 were on their way to Ciudad Acuna, the Mexican city located directly across from Del Rio.

By Saturday, more than 100 Texas State troopers had driven to the area below the bridge and lined up their vehicles along the river bank to act as a deterrent and provide security. They also erected a barbed wire fence along parts of the riverbank. More troopers are en route after a DPS SOS was issued to all available units to come to Del Rio.

The majority of the people congregating under the bridge are Haitians, although many reportedly came from other countries such as Chile and Brazil, where they had been living and working for several years. Camped under the bridge, they have built makeshift tents using cane sticks and sheets and wove together plant leaves to provide shade. 

"I am absolutely stunned by what I'm witnessing right now," Bill Melugin, national correspondent for Fox News, said on Saturday. "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."

Before the surge intensified over the weekend, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, described what he saw as “the most horrific thing I’ve ever seen.

“It is packed in as a mass of humanity,” Cruz told Fox News. “They take your breath away because it just goes on and on and on – infants, little children, people struggling enormously.”

By Sunday, the Biden administration said it was beginning a large-scale expulsion of those under the bridge, using several flights a day to return them to where they came from. The Associated Press reported this would involve two to eight flights a day.

But a flight with 90 passengers averaging four flights a day would take three weeks to deport all of the people currently under the bridge. Removing 1,000 people a day would take two weeks at current levels. And not all families are being deported due to DHS policy changes.

The White House says it has directed relevant U.S. agencies to work with the Haitian government to provide assistance and support to returnees, DHS says, adding it is "conducting regular expulsion and removal flights to Haiti, Mexico, Ecuador, and Northern Triangle countries."

Border Patrol confirmed to Fox News that 224 miles of the Rio Grande River border is now unpatrolled because all of their focus and DPS’s focus is on managing the influx of people under the bridge. DPS troopers normally tasked with patrolling the roads have also been pulled in, noticeably absent on the well-known drug and human trafficking corridor of Highway 90 and I-10.