Updated 5:00 PM EDT, Fri September 24, 2021
After several days of living in squalid conditions under a bridge near the Texas border city of Del Rio, the last remaining migrants departed a makeshift camp there Friday.
The surge of migrants at the Del Rio International Bridge was the result of messages, either by word of mouth or social media, claiming the border at Del Rio was open, US Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz said. Chaotic scenes at the bridge, including law enforcement officers on horseback using aggressive tactics, have sparked anger in both local and federal officials. Some called the makeshift camp inhumane.
The Biden administration is still relying on a Trump-era border policy, linked to the coronavirus pandemic, which allows border authorities to swiftly remove migrants apprehended at the US-Mexico border. Over recent days, the administration ramped up those removals and increased the pace of repatriation flights.
The southern border has seen a surge in migration US government officials say is overwhelming processing facilities. Many migrants say they are fleeing deteriorating conditions in their home countries. A large number of the migrants are from Haiti, which is still reeling from a major earthquake which left more than 2,000 people dead and thousands more injured, as well as from the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in July.