12,000 migrants waiting in makeshift camps under the Del Rio bridge in Texas


Many Haitians camping under the bridge are believed to have been living in South America since the catastrophic 2010 earthquake in their native country. The economic toll of the pandemic on the region further fueled migration to the US southern border.
Haiti is a “dangerous country” now because of the recent presidential assassination and earthquake, Nicole Phillips, the legal director for Haitian Bridge Alliance, an advocacy group for Haitian migrants, told CNN on Monday.
“People still have yet to get drinking water and medical care,” she said. “So what needs to happen is to stop the deportation flights to Haiti effective immediately and instead welcome Haitians to screen them for asylum … so they don’t have to return to where they fled.”
Tilus’ family left Haiti in 2015 after he was assaulted in his own home and his aunt was shot at, he said. His family soon moved to Chile, then left for the United States two months ago.
Tilus, his wife, their 5-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son went to Del Rio because friends and family told him that the border there was open, he said.
Tilus has family in America: his brother, his uncle, cousins, he said. He yearns for a better life. He wants to get an education and better provide for his family.
“I’m 26 years old, and I don’t have a profession,” Tilus said, his voice breaking. “I was doing very badly, I wanted a better life.”
About 10,000 migrants — including families, pregnant women and babies — were waiting to be processed by US immigration authorities, according to Del Rio Mayor Bruno Lozano.
The number of migrants — many of them Haitian — assembled in the temporary site swelled from roughly 400 a week ago. At times, the number has topped 14,000. The surge may owe simply to word of mouth and social media that the border at Del Rio was open, US Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz has said.
The migrants sleep in tents or in the dirt, surrounded by growing piles of garbage, and they wait in hopes of being processed by the overwhelmed US Border Patrol. Few wear masks, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, video from the scene shows.
The heat is oppressive. Temperatures on Monday are predicted to top 100 degrees.
Ten babies have been delivered since Thursday by women transported from under the bridge, a hospital official said. Local authorities are overwhelmed by the crush of people, they said.


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