Anyone who believes operating without boarder controls and letting anyone into a country who can fog a mirror is not thinking straight. They definitely do not have the interest of their country at heart. All from your “not Donald Trump President.” mrossol
DEL RIO, Texas—Thousands of illegal immigrants, mostly from Haiti, are congregating under an international bridge in Texas while they wait to be processed by Border Patrol.
The illegal immigrants are spread out over a dirt lot strewn with litter, many sitting or lying on blankets. Others stand, chatting with companions.
Some 9,000 illegal immigrants, including Haitian, Cuban, and Venezuelan nationals, are in the area, Val Verde County Sheriff Joe Frank Martinez confirmed at 3:45 p.m. local time on Sept. 16.
Five hundred more had arrived within the previous half-hour as the sheriff and the mayor of Del Rio, Texas, held a press conference near the bridge–almost within sight of the Rio Grande, which serves as the international border with Mexico.
The number has skyrocketed in less a week, from only a couple of hundred under the bridge on Sept. 9.
Mayor Bruno Lozano confirmed that another 20,000 are on their way.
“I’m deeply frustrated. The thing that I worry about is a stampede. The thing I worry about is terrorism,” Lozano said.
“This is not secure. This is not defensible,” he said, looking toward the wide open border and the number of people walking back and forth across it.
“We don’t really know who they are.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said that he has directed the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas National Guard to “maintain their presence at and around ports of entry to deter crossings,” although it’s unclear how effective that will be in reducing numbers.
“The Biden Administration is in complete disarray and is handling the border crisis as badly as the evacuation from Afghanistan,” Abbott said in a statement Sept. 16.
Lozano said his city’s medical services are stretched thin. An illegal immigrant woman was rushed to hospital on Sept. 15 to give birth. On Sept. 16, The Epoch Times witnessed Border Patrol loading a woman into an ambulance.
Lozano blamed the Biden administration, particularly Vice President Kamala Harris, for not focusing on the U.S.–Mexico border, especially the smaller cities being affected, such as Del Rio. The number of illegal aliens currently under the bridge is almost one-third of the population of the city.
“We’re ignored. They’re prioritizing urban centers,” he said.
Sheriff Martinez confirmed that the illegal immigrants aren’t being tested for COVID-19.
“None of them are being tested for anything,” he said.
Law enforcement is adding more portable toilets under the bridge every day and drinking water stations are provided.
The illegal immigrants cross the river frequently to go back to Mexico for food and supplies.
Lozano said the system is so overwhelmed that it will likely take Border Patrol two weeks to transport the current 9,000 illegal aliens to Border Patrol facilities and process them. Those who are released often get dropped at the local Stripes gas station in Del Rio, where they wait for a bus to San Antonio.
It isn’t clear why the bulk of the Haitians cross into Del Rio, though migration patterns show that people from certain countries have favored routes into the United States.
CBP didn’t answer the phone or return voicemails or an email on Sept. 16 as the number of illegal immigrants continued to swell. No CBP representative spoke at the press conference.
“It’s completely predictable because Biden is basically inviting in illegal immigrants,” Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, a nonpartisan think tank that advocates for a pro-immigrant, low-immigration system, told The Epoch Times.
“This just seems to be an extreme example of what we’ve been seeing since Jan. 20, which is illegal immigrants, taking Biden up on his offer that if they manage to get into the United States, they’ll be let go.”
President Joe Biden, upon entering office, quickly overhauled the U.S. immigration system, ending construction on the border wall as well as a program that forced many asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico.
Biden administration officials also stopped using the federal government’s Title 42 authority, which was established during the COVID-19 pandemic, to expel unaccompanied minors, or illegal immigrant children.
The decline in federal immigration enforcement has prompted Texas authorities to fill the void. State and local law enforcement have ramped up enforcement of illegal immigrants, including in Del Rio, where the mayor has pleaded with Biden to stop releasing illegal immigrants as local conditions deteriorate.
Crossing the border into the United States without proper papers is illegal, but after entering, an illegal immigrant can claim asylum, or fear of persecution if they are returned to their home country. If they do, they are often released into the United States. If they don’t, they are processed under Title 8, or federal law, typically getting a court date or told to appear at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office on a certain day. Most don’t end up appearing.
The CBP spokesperson told The Epoch Times that “the vast majority of single adults and many families will continue to be expelled under the CDC’s Title 42 authority, and those who cannot be expelled under Title 42 and do not have a legal basis to remain will be processed under Title 8 authorities.”
There are indications that a number of single adults are being allowed to remain in the country, particularly foreign nationals whose nations have been granted a special type of protection called Temporary Protected Status by U.S. authorities.
One Haitian man, a single male who crossed with some 350 other illegal immigrants to Del Rio from Mexico in July, spoke to The Epoch Times after entering the United States. About a month later, he texted to say he’d made it to Boston and was fine.
A Cuban man in his late-20s, Eduardo, told The Epoch Times this week at a gas station in Del Rio that he was waiting to be picked up by his parents, who live in Houston. He said he traveled from Panama through Central America before making it through Mexico to reach Del Rio, walking most of the time.
“There’s no freedom in Cuba,” said Eduardo, who had been dropped at the gas station by Border Patrol.
The United States recorded more than 208,000 illegal immigrant arrests at the border in August, one of the highest months on record. Under the Biden administration, the country is on pace to set records for the highest number of fiscal year and calendar year encounters.
The administration would have known about the large groups of immigrants that are now in Del Rio, Jaeson Jones, CEO of Omni Intelligence, told The Epoch Times.
U.S. intelligence programs monitor Central America to detect large groups forming, said Jones, a former Texas Department of Public Safety intelligence and counterterrorism captain, who worked closely with Border Patrol.
“No one in the federal government has acknowledged what was coming, stated that this was happening, nor did they do anything to mitigate it, because this should have been stopped. This is a large caravan of people that wasn’t stopped,” he said.
“To me, this just is more validation of the level of failure of leadership within the current administration.”
Foster parents in California are being asked if they can take in unaccompanied Central American children who have recently crossed the southern border.
Automated emails and phone calls from the state’s Community Care Licensing Division (CCLD) have asked foster parents if they can take anywhere from one to 26 or more children.
Travis and Sharla Kall received a voice message and then a follow-up email in mid-March with the request.
“At first, it was just strange,” Travis Kall told The Epoch Times. He thought it was a mistake until Diandra Causey, a friend and also a foster parent, confirmed with her agency that it was a request to foster unaccompanied minors who had recently crossed the border illegally.
“We were outraged. They’re literally going to use the foster system to facilitate human trafficking,” he said.
Causey’s agency sent her a confirmation email stating that CCLD is “trying to address the needs of a record number of unaccompanied children who are arriving from Central America, who are escaping impossible situations such as poverty, violence, and natural disasters.”
The email, which The Epoch Times obtained, adds that the agency will compile a list of its families and hopes to partner with the California Department of Social Services “in this endeavor.”
Unaccompanied minors—children under 18 who cross the border without a parent or guardian—have traditionally fallen under the purview of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) after being processed by Border Patrol.
During influxes of unaccompanied minors, HHS has operated as a proxy foster system, charged with placing children with a parent or sponsor in the United States—most often a parent or close family relative who already is in the country illegally.
On April 10, The Epoch Times talked to two boys from Honduras who had just crossed the U.S.–Mexico border into La Joya, Texas. One said he was 17, the other 13; they said their father was in South Carolina. Another group included a girl, 16, and two boys, aged 14 and 7; they said they were from Honduras and their father was in Houston.
“Parents living here will hire a criminal organization to bring their child into the country,” former Acting ICE Director Tom Homan told The Epoch Times. He criticized the Biden administration for facilitating 18,000 family separations in March by dismantling border security measures.
The number of unaccompanied minors crossing the border illegally hit a record monthly high in March, with 18,663 children apprehended by Border Patrol—more than double that of February. April is projected to be higher still.
“We know 31 percent of women had been assaulted making that trip. We know children have been assaulted, we know there’s children in the hands of criminal cartels, we know what happens to them … and it’s just a travesty,” Homan said.
By law, unaccompanied minors can’t be returned to their home country unless they’re Mexican or Canadian nationals (from contiguous countries).
The foster system, however, has usually been reserved for American children who are in dire circumstances and don’t have a parent to look after them.
“That’s why they’re there, because they are in terrible situations,” Travis’s wife, Sharla Kall, told The Epoch Times. “They’re sitting in a home being neglected. Perhaps, they’re in a home with domestic violence, perhaps they’re in a home with drug abuse.”
She said foster parents are being placed “between a rock and a hard place” because there are currently 30,000 American children in the Los Angeles County foster system waiting for placement.
“We have children that are in horrible conditions right here, right here in our own neighborhoods,” she said. “Someone loses a bed and it’s not fair.”
The majority of unaccompanied minors entering the United States are between the ages of 12 and 17, which is also the most difficult age group for finding foster care placements.
The California Department of Social Services said it sent out the initial survey to licensed children’s residential facilities in response to a request from HHS. The department declined to respond to an Epoch Times query asking how many Central American minors it’s trying to place in foster care.
The Kalls both said they believe they’d be fueling the human trafficking trade if they participated in the new initiative.
“Do I want to help them, yes. But I want to know why they’re really here. I find it hard to believe that someone didn’t traffic them here,” Sharla Kall said. “There’s no way that all of these kids came voluntarily. I can’t fathom that. Not in the world that we live in, not when human trafficking is a $150-plus-billion industry.”
Once an unaccompanied minor is placed into the foster system, they’re automatically on a fast track to citizenship through a special immigrant juvenile status. The SIJ status provides a green card to individuals and entitles them to qualify for state sponsored programs, financial aid, transitional housing, and other supportive programs, according to the Los Angeles County Social Services website.
“If you’re going to have the American people and their tax dollars supporting these children, then we deserve to know the plan. We deserve to know, are you throwing them into this special immigration status? Is that your goal?” Sharla Kall said. “Show me the plan and we will do it, because we are a great country and we are a great people. And we do care. But we deserve to know exactly what’s happening. So that we can properly help.”
Currently, the administration is spending at least $60 million per week on detaining more than 20,000 unaccompanied minors.
The Kalls, who are currently fostering 4-month-old twins, also run a nonprofit organization, Goods for Hope, that fights human trafficking.
“They’re asking us to participate in the very thing that we’re fighting against,” Travis Kall said of the foster agency.
“American citizens need to call their congressmen and senators and tell them they don’t want their money going to human trafficking.”