Democratic Del Rio, Texas, Mayor Bruno Lozano asked President Joe Biden whether he’d been briefed about the crisis in the border city this week, according to statements posted to Twitter on Thursday.
Over 10,500 migrants illegally crossed the Rio Grande River to reach the banks of Del Rio, Texas, where they await processing under the Del Rio International Bridge, Lozano said on Thursday. Lozano added that the number of migrants under the bridge reflects around one-third of the population of the border town.
“A stark warning was delivered back in February when we released the video to the Biden administration that what you’re seeing behind me was a threat then and here it’s … the worst-case scenario of worst-case scenarios,” Lozano said Thursday.
“This morning we started at 8,200. President Biden, have you been briefed on the ongoing crisis yet?” Lozano said on Thursday evening.
A majority of the migrants arriving at the bridge are from Haiti, according to Lozano.
“The Border Patrol right now is so overwhelmed with the influx of migrants in the Del Rio sector, we have about 2,000 to 3,000 [migrants] at any given moment in detention,” Lozano said.
The migrants waiting under the bridge haven’t yet been processed by border officials, so they’re not officially in federal custody as they wait under the bridge, according to Lozano. One migrant went into labor underneath the bridge yesterday, where resources are few and far between, and Lozano is concerned about the potential spread of COVID-19 and other diseases between people in close quarters.
Lozano even expressed concerns about a potential terror attack in the high-travel area, given that migrants in the area go back and forth between the U.S. and Mexico.
“This is just something that really needs to be brought to light,” Lozano said. “We need quick action from the administration. We need quick attention to this, we need a response in real-time.”
Border officials encountered more than 208,000 migrants at the southern border in August, including around 32,300 people in the Del Rio sector, according to Customs and Border Protection data.