A US-Mexico border crossing in Texas partially reopens on Saturday, the US Customs and Border Patrol said. The port of entry of Del Rio had been closed for several days as US authoritiesa nearby migrant camp that had grown to include nearly 15,000 people, many of whom were Haitian migrants.
“Following efforts this week by the US Border Patrol, Office of Field Operations and DHS partners to expedite the processing of the flow of migrants to manageable levels and with public safety restored, CBP has reopened operations. trade and travel at the Del Rio port of entry, ”CBP said Saturday.
The border will reopen to passenger and pedestrian traffic on Saturday afternoon, followed by commercial freight traffic on Monday morning, CBP said.
It had been closed since September 17 and traffic was redirected to the Eagle Pass port of entry, authorities said.
Last week, up to 15,000 migrants, mostly from Haiti, were crammed into a squalid tent city under a bridge near the Rio Grande, hoping to be treated for asylum. However, US authorities dismantled the encampment and expelled all migrants.
On Friday, the mayor of Del Rio, Bruno Lozano, said: “At the moment, there are no people under the bridge”.
At least 2,000 have been deported and 5,000 are still being processed and could be deported, according to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. The rest, officials said, were either released in the United States as part of the asylum process or voluntarily returned to Mexico.
Mayorkas has rejected calls to stop the evictions. “We have indeed determined, despite the tragic and devastating earthquake, that Haiti is in fact capable of accommodating individuals,” he said on Friday.
The mayor of Del Rio urged the federal government to do a better job of listening to local officials, who he said have warned of the looming crisis. At least 10 babies were born while the migrants were in the camp, the mayor said.