© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: Migrants seeking asylum rest under the shade of the International Bridge, Mexico-USA, where they are waiting to receive their processing at Del Rio, Texas (U.S.A), September 15, 2021. REUTERS/Go Nakamura
By Alexandra Ulmer
CIUDAD ACUÑA, MEXICO (Reuters) – Ernesto, a 31-year-old Haitian migrant, waded knee-deep through the Rio Grande river that separates the United States and Mexico.
He wasn’t heading to the United States, though. He was leaving a migrant encampment in Del Rio, Texas, on Thursday to slip back into Mexico’s Ciudad Acuña to buy water and food — for the fourth time, he said, since arriving in the United States on Monday morning.
Reuters reported that hundreds of migrants, mostly Haitians, but also Cubans (Venezuelans), Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans, waded through Rio Grande, Mexico, to buy essentials.
CBP didn’t respond to queries about how many people were in Del Rio camp. On Wednesday, a CBP agent stated to Reuters that the camp housed approximately 6,000 people. Reuters journalists estimated they saw at least 1,000 people on the river’s two shores.
This is an example of President Joe Biden’s humanitarian problems. Border arrests are at their highest level in twenty years. U.S. authorities arrested https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-arrests-nearly-200000-migrants-us-mexico-border-august-2021-09-15 more than 195,000 migrants at the Mexican border in August, according to government data released on Wednesday.
Ernesto, who declined to give his surname to protect his identity, has been waiting in an overwhelmed makeshift migrant camp under the bridge connecting Del Rio and Ciudad Acuña. Ernesto said that he hadn’t been fed in the camp where migrants sleep under the International Bridge, jostling for shelter at temperatures of 99 degrees Fahrenheit (36.7 Celsius).
He was scared at first to return to Mexico but he felt compelled to go to Mexico to provide food for his three-year old daughter.
“I’ve been crossing once a day,” said Ernesto, who wants to claim asylum. He said that he sometimes runs to avoid Mexican immigration officials, but is not usually bothered. But now, money is scarce.”
Reuters spoke with around 20 migrants that claimed they hadn’t been fed by the Texas side. They presented Reuters tickets that included numbers from the U.S. Border Patrol to show their immigration status. Many claimed that other migrants had told them they would be allowed to stay at the camp up to five more days.
Border Patrol stated in a statement that it is increasing the staffing at Del Rio in order to ensure a safe, humane, and organized process. The statement stated that water, towels, and toiletries have been made available to migrants while they wait for their transport to the facilities.
U.S. border officers are still quickly exiling almost every single adult and some families who were found at the border in violation of a COVID-19 order that was issued by President Donald Trump. It is largely held in place by Vice President Joe Biden.
`I CAN WAIT A LITTLE LONGER`
Carlos, a 27-year-old Venezuelan who left his home after graduating university in July, said he thought the camp had doubled in size since he arrived on Tuesday. Carlos refused to identify himself and said that he was only left with $10, but there were still 400 families waiting in the line.
More immigrants were still arriving. Yoandri Calzadilla said that he fled political persecution in Cuba and was preparing to travel to Texas on Thursday morning with his wife.
He said they left Cuba in 2019. They started in French Guiana, he explained. Then, they made their way through South and Central America working odd jobs.
“I’ve been waiting three years, living under bridges. He said that he could wait for a while longer.