U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials announced the closure of both international bridges in Del Rio, Texas, on Friday evening. The closures come as the migrant camp crisis under one of the bridges continues to worsen.
“U.S. Customs and Border Protection today announced that the Office of Field Operations (OFO) Del Rio Port of Entry will temporarily close and re-route traffic from Del Rio to Eagle Pass to more effectively manage resources and ensure uninterrupted flow of trade and travel,” CBP officials said in a written statement Friday evening. “Consistent with established cross border travel management procedures, traffic that normally uses the Amistad Dam International Bridge and the Del Rio International Bridge will be directed 57 miles east to the Eagle Pass Port of Entry.”
“This temporary closure and shift is necessary in order for CBP to respond to urgent safety and security needs presented by an influx of migrants into Del Rio and is effective immediately,” the statement continues. “It will advance and protect national interests and help ensure the safety of the traveling public, commercial traffic, and CBP employees and facilities.”
The move by CBP to close the bridges comes amid the humanitarian crisis taking place under one of the bridges where more than 12,000 mostly Haitian migrants are being held by Border Patrol.
Earlier on Friday, Del Rio Mayor Bruno Lozano told reporters he was closing the toll plazas at the Del Rio International Bridge, Breitbart Texas reported.
Dire circumstances require dire responses,” Del Rio Mayor Bruno Lozano said, according to the Texas Tribune. “There’s people having babies down there [under the bridge], there’s people collapsing out of the heat. They’re pretty aggressive, rightly so — they’ve been in the heat day after day after day.”
As of Friday morning, more than 12,000 migrants are being held under the bridge, Breitbart Texas reported. Migrants, mostly from Haiti and Venezuela, continue to cross the border faster than Border Patrol agents can process them and bus them away.
Mayor Bruno reportedly called for assistance from the State of Texas to help keep the migrants from leaving the bridge area and entering his city.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott responded to the mayor’s request by sending Department of Public Safety troopers, National Guardsmen, and Humvees to the region to provide assistance.
“President Biden’s complete lack of concern for Americans who are in the direct path of the crisis he’s created is appalling,” Governor Abbott’s spokesman Rene Eze said in a statement. “The record-breaking surges of thousands of migrants and the incompetent response show the utter disarray within the Biden Administration.”
“Governor Abbott has talked with Del Rio Mayor Lozano and is directing state resources and personnel to the region, including additional DPS troopers and National Guardsmen, as well as Humvees,” Eze continued. “TxDOT is expediting the erection of barriers to provide assistance. Texas continues to step up to secure the southern border and protect Americans.”
CBP officials confirmed to Breitbart Texas that the closure impacts all traffic in both directions across the bridges. The closure also stops pedestrian traffic on both bridges.