The grassy city land beneath the Del Rio-Acuna International Bridge has turned into a massive campsite for migrants crossing the Rio Grande River while waiting to be apprehended by the Border Patrol.

The number of migrants, many of whom are Haitians, has increased dramatically from around 400 a week ago. The number has risen to over 14,000 at times. Rather than running past the agents, the migrants waited at the bridge, expecting to be imprisoned and then released into the United States with legal paperwork allowing them to remain here, Washington Examiner reported.

Some people started hand-cutting tall wild plants a few hundred feet in either direction, then using the branches to make tent-like shelters. Hundreds of plant-made huts now line the bridge’s east and west sides.

“You turn the corner, and then you start to see up here, right, this sea of people just going in two directions,” said Jon Anfinsen, the National Border Patrol Council’s president of the Del Rio region. “You walk through here, and it really feels like another country.”

Clothing, blankets, and sheets brought in from Mexico are draped over the handmade tents and portable toilet tops. Backpacks and luggage are stacked up all over the place. In addition to the smell from large piles of garbage reaching six to seven feet high, there are dozens of portable toilets on the camp’s west side, all adding to the stink.

There are no fans or air conditioners, and Monday was another hot summer day with a predicted temperature topping 100 degrees.

“We’re seeing people passing out with some diabetic issues. We’ve had people with heated-related issues. A bunch of women have gone into labor,” Anfinsen said. “Aside from just some of those issues we’re expecting are going to be some communicable diseases that will start to spread from there just because, of course, it happened just because it’s not sanitary for anybody.”

Ten babies have been delivered under the bridge since Thursday. Local officials are overburdened by the influx of migrants.

“This is terrible,” said Anfinsen. “You hear children crying in there. It’s just because this is not a place for kids. It’s not a place for anyone. This is just—it’s a terrible situation.”

Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, stated it was a “rudimentary” process and indicative of the government’s poor handling of the problem in permitting it to reach this point.

Since the food and water supply that migrants had relied on by crossing back and forth to Mexico was shut off this weekend, law enforcement is increasingly concerned about feeding and hydrating everyone. As of Monday, 12,000 people remained at the camp, despite Border Patrol’s best efforts to evacuate them.





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