United States Reopens Texas Border Post After Clearing Migrant Camps
The border crossing between the United States and Mexico in Texas was partially open on Saturday, the United States Customs and Border Service said. Del Rio's port of entry was closed for several days as US officials cleared a nearby migrant camp that had grown to nearly 15,000 people, including many Haitian migrants.
"Following efforts by US border patrols, field operations and DHS partners this week to accelerate the processing of migrant flows to a manageable level and restore public safety, CBP has reopened travel and trade operations at the Del Rio port of entry," the statement said on Saturday said by CBP.
The border will reopen to passenger and pedestrian traffic on Saturday afternoon, followed by commercial freight traffic on Monday morning, CBP reported.
It has been closed since September 17 and traffic has been diverted to Eagle Pass Port, authorities said.
Last week some 15,000 migrants, mostly from Haiti, crammed into the barren tent city under a bridge near the Rio Grande in hopes of being treated for asylum. However, US officials broke into the camp and expelled all the migrants.
Del Rio Mayor Bruno Lozano said on Friday: "At the moment there is no one under the bridge."
At least 2,000 have been deported, 5,000 are still being processed and could be expelled, Interior Minister Alejandro Mallorca said. Others, officials said, were released as part of the US asylum process or returned to Mexico voluntarily.
Mallorca rejected calls to stop the deportations. "Indeed, despite the tragic and devastating earthquake, we have determined that Haiti can truly accommodate people," he said on Friday.
Mayor Del Rio urged the federal government to do its best to listen to local officials he believes are warning of an impending crisis. At least 10 babies were born while the migrants were in the camps, the mayor said.