How precarious is the situation along the southern border? The most pro-open-border network in all the land is reporting that border agents fear getting caught in a “human stampede”.
Watch as Univision’s Pedro Rojas closes out his most recent report from Del Rio, Texas.
PEDRO ROJAS, UNIVISION: Now, this border fence is the only fence that protects Del Río (TX), which is slightly over a mile long. And why is the National Guard here? It’s to protect. Agents’ fears are that a human stampede could happen at any time, given that there are very few Border Patrol agents guarding close to 10,000 people at this time.
Lots of information packed into a minute here. Not only is the Border Patrol overwhelmed and fearful of being overrun, but the Texas National Guard is already in place to reinforce, which begs the question: is THIS part of the “special security situation” that led the Federal Aviation Administration to impose a two-week temporary flight restriction over the international bridge in Del Río?
A ruling from a federal judge on Thursday led Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to abandon his plan to close six entry points on the southern border amid a surge of migrants, the El Paso Times reported.
The U.S. District Judge for the District of Columbia blocked President Joe Biden from turning away migrant families with children under 18, citing a health order related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the El Paso Times reported. The order will take effect in 14 days.
Abbott announced Thursday he had directed the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas National Guard to close six entry points along the southern border in a statement obtained by Fox News.
“The sheer negligence of the Biden Administration to do their job and secure the border is appalling,” Abbott said in the statement. “I have directed the Department of Public Safety and the Texas National Guard to surge personnel and vehicles to shut down six points of entry along the southern border to stop these caravans from overrunning our state.”
“The border crisis is so dire that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection is requesting our help as their agents are overwhelmed by the chaos,” he added. “Unlike President Biden, the State of Texas remains committed to securing our border and protecting Americans.”
Texas Department of Public Safety Regional Director Victor Escalon said earlier on Thursday that all Del Rio, Texas entry points would be shut down due to the massive amounts of migrants there, CNN reported.
BREAKING: In response to the situation at the international bridge in Del Rio, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announces he is shutting down six points of entry along the border to “stop these migrant caravans from overrunning our state.”
“Six, seven days ago, Del Rio saw 400 migrants sitting, underneath the bridge, the (point of entry) in downtown Del Rio … there’s about 6,000 sitting there right now and more are coming,” Escalon said, CNN reported.
Abbott released a statement reversing his decision hours later, blaming the Biden administration for having “flip-flopped to a different strategy that abandons border security and instead makes it easier for people to cross illegally and for cartels to exploit the border.”
“I have directed the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas National Guard to maintain their presence at and around ports of entry to deter crossings,” he added.
“The Border Patrol is increasing its manpower in the Del Rio Sector and coordinating efforts within [the Department of Homeland Security] and other relevant federal, state and local partners to immediately address the current level of migrant encounters and to facilitate a safe, humane and orderly process,” the spokesperson said in an emailed statement to the Tribune.
“To prevent injuries from heat-related illness, the shaded area underneath Del Rio International Bridge is serving as a temporary staging site while migrants wait to be taken into USBP custody,” he added.
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In an apparent attempt to cover up the border crisis, the Biden administration has shut down Fox News’s ability to fly their drone over the U.S.-Mexico border to report on the border crisis, which swelled in August and again in the last 24-hours.
On Thursday’s Special Report, national correspondent Bill Melugin showed the over 9,000-person crowd of illegals under the international bridge. But on Tucker Carlson Tonight, two hours later, he was forced to report that the FAA had issued a temporary flight restriction or TFR over the entire area.
“Stunning footage out of Del Rio, Texas on Thursday. As our Fox Flight Team drone shows thousands of migrants crammed under the international bridge waiting to be processed after crossing illegally into the United States,” he reported on Special Report.
He added: “Our drones spotted masses of migrants crossing from Ciudad Acuna Mexico over a dam in the Rio Grande and into the United States illegally. They then stream into Del Rio via dirt path, hundreds coming by the hour with more on the way every day.”
Melugin bolstered his reporting with a statement from “a law enforcement source” who said “as of Thursday afternoon there were well over 9,000 migrants, mostly Haitians, waiting under that bridge.” According to Melugin, the number of people under the bridge doubled in 24-hours. “[L]ocal Border Patrol holding facilities are well overcapacity,” he explained.
While on with Carlson, he broke the news that the FAA was shutting them down. “What does that mean? It means our drone can no longer fly and show those images,” he said. “It is a two-week TFR, and according to the FAA, it is for special security reasons. We’ve reached out to the FAA to get a little clarification on what the heck that means.”
Noting that the “timing on this, the location, a little bit curious,” Melugin explained that they’ve been there almost “seven months now” and there’s “never been an issue” with them flying the drone. “All of a sudden, the last 24-hours, we start showing images at this bridge and a TFR goes up, we can no longer fly. When we can update from the FAA we will be sure to let you know.”
The development was news to Carlson, who told Melguin that “our company will ignore the FAA. They have no right to shut down newsgathering. They don’t own the news.”
NEW: We’ve learned that the FAA just implemented a two week TFR (Temporary Flight Restrictions) over the international bridge in Del Rio, TX, meaning we can no longer fly our FOX drone over it to show images of the thousands of migrants. FAA says “special security reason”. pic.twitter.com/aJrjAPO2Pz
On Twitter, Melugin expanded on the FAA’s restrictions (see above), even providing a map of the restricted area. “We’ve learned that the FAA just implemented a two week TFR (Temporary Flight Restrictions) over the international bridge in Del Rio, TX, meaning we can no longer fly our FOX drone over it to show images of the thousands of migrants. FAA says ‘special security reason,’” he wrote.
In a statement shared by Melugin, the FAA contented: “The Border Patrol requested the temporary flight restriction due to drones interfering with law enforcement flights on the border.” Adding: “As with any temporary flight restriction, media is able to call the FAA to make requests to operate in the area.”
UPDATE: FAA statement
“The Border Patrol requested the temporary flight restriction due to drones interfering with law enforcement flights on the border. As with any temporary flight restriction, media is able to call the FAA to make requests to operate in the area.”@FoxNews
Now, given that the FAA says that the media can make a request for flight clearance, we have to wait and see if Fox News gets granted that access.
The relevant portions of the transcripts are below, click “expand” to read:
Fox News Channel’s Special Report September 16, 2021 6:30:15 p.m. Eastern
BRET BAIER: We have alarming new images tonight from the southern border. Huge numbers of illegal immigrants masked at the border in del Rio, Texas, hoping to come into this country. Correspondent bill Melugin is there and shows us tonight.
[Cuts to video]
BILL MELUGIN: Stunning footage out of Del Rio, Texas on Thursday. As our Fox Flight Team drone shows thousands of migrants crammed under the international bridge waiting to be processed after crossing illegally into the United States.
From the ground the size of the crowd shows the size of the task that undermanned Border Patrol agents will have to deal with, with a law enforcement source telling me as of Thursday afternoon there were well over 9,000 migrants, mostly Haitians, waiting under that bridge. A doubling of the numbers in just 24 hours. While local Border Patrol holding facilities are well overcapacity.
Our drones spotted masses of migrants crossing from Ciudad Acuna Mexico over a dam in the Rio Grande and into the United States illegally. They then stream into Del Rio via dirt path, hundreds coming by the hour with more on the way every day.
FNC’s Tucker Carlson Tonight September 16, 2021 8:03:17 p.m. Eastern
MELUGIN: We just learned that the FAA has put out a temporary flight restriction, a TFR, in the area immediately around the port of entry where that bridge is. What does that mean? It means our drone can no longer fly and show those images.
It is a two-week TFR, and according to the FAA, it is for special security reasons. We’ve reached out to the FAA to get a little clarification on what the heck that means. The timing on this, the location, a little bit curious.
I just want to point out, Fox News has been at the border for the better part of seven months now. We’ve been using the drone the entire time. It has never been an issue. All of a sudden, the last 24-hours, we start showing images at this bridge and a TFR goes up, we can no longer fly. When we can update from the FAA we will be sure to let you know.
But unfortunately for those agents on the ground, they are completely overwhelmed. They need some serious help right now and hopefully, they get it from the federal government. We’ll send it back to you.
TUCKER CARLSON: That’s the first I’m hearing of this, Bill. I sincerely – and I haven’t talked to lawyers about it – I sincerely hope our company will ignore the FAA. They have no right to shut down newsgathering. They don’t own the news.
The Biden administration is on target to approach a historical fiscal-year record for apprehending migrants on the U.S./Mexico border. We are likely to have seen 1.64 million such apprehensions by this month’s end of fiscal 2021, even as opponents absurdly accuse the president of pursuing “open borders” policies.
Keep that in mind as you see scenes of a border crossing point being overwhelmed today by would-be migrants. Such moment are not happening despite the clampdown, but because of it.
As the New York Post reports, the “number of migrants waiting under a bridge in Texas has doubled overnight and now tops 8,000 people….Drone footage shot by Fox News shows the sea of migrants, the majority from Haiti, under the International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas, and sources tell the network the situation is ‘out of control’ and that Border Patrol agents are overwhelmed.” Big crowds at the border set off media storms frequently these days, generally for a national Fox audience that will never have their life impacted by migrants being allowed to live and work unimpeded on the same continental landmass.
The Biden administration has been enforcing Title 42 returns of migrants to Mexico, whether they are Mexican or not. (This is done in the name of public health, which is seen as allowing for immediate expulsion no matter what U.S. asylum law dictates.) Though sometimes it’s luck of which border agent you end up dealing with that defines whether you are permitted to go to friends in Florida or forced back to Mexico.
There is a simpler, better way that would avoid these disconcertingly large crowds awaiting the rough justice of U.S. border policies. Those huge crowds in those drone videos are only there because it isn’t conveniently legal for would-be migrants to buy a bus or plane ticket and go anywhere in the U.S. that they want to.
They could do this either with their own funds or with money from charitable groups that currently spend their resources dealing with the awful aftermath of crossings at illegal entrance points, or with the legal troubles that arise from trying to do so at legal entrance points. The migrants could thus rendezvous with friends or family, or with other groups that want to help them assimilate. Or they could just start looking for the work that they came here to do in the first place. All without gathering in one place and looking scary to people who will likely never meet them or be harmed by them in any way.
For those who can’t make the laissez-faire step toward just letting human beings roam unmonitored through these United States, there’s the option of instant work visas with a requirement to show up for a later asylum hearing.
Most would-be migrants simply cannot navigate the near-impossible maze of U.S. immigration law via the legal “front door.” But entering America could be as simple as buying a bus ticket or driving a car, with no massed crowds necessary. Pointlessly punitive policies that harm innocents and likely cost trillions in lost national wealth create the very situations that make people think we need more of those policies.
Thousands of migrants have arrived at the international bridge in Del Rio, Texas, over the past week, with Border Patrol agents struggling to process new arrivals.
Around 9,300 migrants are now camping under the bridge, a federal source told Fox News‘s Bill Melugin. That number is up from 8,200 on Thursday morning, and 4,000 on Wednesday morning.
NEW: Source on the ground at the international bridge in Del Rio just sent me this video showing the deteriorating situation. Federal source says the number has now increased to 9,300. It was 8,200 this morning, and about 4,000 yesterday AM. Mostly Haitians, I’m told. @FoxNewspic.twitter.com/e8ftMp4YoQ
Drone footage from Fox as well as video on the ground showed thousands of migrants in the vicinity of the bridge.
Law enforcement source on the ground at the bridge this morning just sent me this video showing the situation there. I’m told a large majority of the migrants are Haitians and more are crossing into the US and arriving at the bridge by the minute. BP w/ limited manpower @FoxNewspic.twitter.com/dHWCrhFikq
“Border Patrol is overwhelmed,” Val Verde County Sheriff Joe Frank Martinez told the Texas Tribune. “They just can’t process them fast enough, so there’s a backlog of these individuals underneath the bridge. They’re not detained, they’re just gathered there waiting their turn to get processed.”
Customs and Border Protection said it was sending additional agents to the area to help process migrants more quickly.
““The Border Patrol is increasing its manpower in the Del Rio Sector and coordinating efforts within DHS and other relevant federal, state and local partners to immediately address the current level of migrant encounters,” the agency told the Washington Post. “To prevent injuries from heat-related illness, the shaded area underneath Del Rio International Bridge is serving as a temporary staging site while migrants wait to be taken into USBP custody.”
Post reporter Nick Miroff noted that the temperature in Del Rio is expected to pass 100 degrees for the next five days.
Multiple reports suggested most of the migrants in Del Rio are from Haiti. That country saw the assassination of its president in July, along with an earthquake in August that killed close to 2,000 people.
Shortly after the assassination and amid fears of additional political instability, Homeland Security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas warned Haitians not to travel to the U.S. by sea.
“The time is never right to attempt migration by sea,” Mayorkas said at a July press briefing. “To those who risk their lives doing so, this risk is not worth taking.”
The federal government began erecting a security fence around the U.S. Capitol yesterday in advance of Saturday’s Justice for J6 protest. Yet the guardians of America ignore the illegal-invasion at the southwest border.
These numbers do not include “got-aways;” i.e., illegals whom border agents do not apprehend. The Center for Immigration Studies reported in May that 40,000 illegals slipped past agents in April.
And that was just one month.
Del Rio Bridge
Sharpening the point that the U.S. no longer controls its own border is Todd Bensman of the Center for Immigration Studies.
The author of America’s Cover Border War tweeted that almost 7,000 illegals were massed in Del Rio, Texas, apparently ready for a mad rush into the country.
Del Rio is on the border about 160 miles west of San Antonio.
“DHS officer on scene just told me 6,500 illegal immigrants are under the Del Rio, Texas bridge right now,” he wrote at about 9 p.m. last night.
No manpower available for@crowd co trail. No food. No bathroom facilities. This doesn’t look like it’s going to end well. Thinking maybe a breakout?
By this morning, Bill Melugin of Fox News reported, the number had grown to 8,200, thousands of them Haitians.
As that throng awaited its chance to enter the country, contractors in Washington, D.C., erected a security fence around the U.S. Capitol in anticipation of the Justice for J6 rally on Saturday.
Demonstrators will gather in the city to protest the treatment of those arrested for participating in the mostly peaceful protest in Washington, D.C., on January 6. Protestors that day entered the U.S. Capitol. Whether Saturday’s rally is a false-flag operation to incite violence — which would smear supporters of President Trump and give the Biden Regime, Congress, and Big Tech another excuse to crack down on patriots — is unknown.
Either way, concerned as they are about their own safety and “protecting democracy,” the leftists and establishment Republicans who run the government are unconcerned about Americans on the border — at the front line of the illegal-alien invasion.
A federal judge issued an injunction Thursday blocking the government’s use of pandemic powers to immediately expel illegal immigrants who jump the border, dealing a severe blow to President Biden’s hopes of stemming the border surge.
Judge Emmet G. Sullivan issued a 14-day stay of his ruling, giving the administration a chance to seek intervention by a higher court, though that move would be fraught with political consequences.
The judge said the expulsion powers — known as Title 42— go beyond what Congress intended. He said the challengers, including the American Civil Liberties Union, are likely to succeed in a full proceeding, so an injunction is appropriate now.
“Here, the Title 42 Process deprives Plaintiffs and the proposed class members of an opportunity to seek humanitarian protections under the asylum and withholding of removal statutes,” the judge ruled.
Title 42 is a public health order issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which says that unauthorized border crossers heighten the risk of spread of COVID-19, and can be blocked from being “introduced” into the country.
The Trump administration triggered Title 42 at the start of the pandemic and the Biden team, despite intense pressure from immigrant-rights activists, has kept it in place.
Those activists argued that people who were entitled to protection in the U.S., such as asylum-seekers, were blocked from even making their claims.
“President Biden should have ended this cruel and lawless policy long ago, and the court was correct to reject it today,” said Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s immigrant rights project.
If the ruling stands, it would put a major dent in the administration’s efforts. More than 46% of all border jumpers in August were expelled under the Title 42 powers. Of those that weren’t expelled, about half were caught and released into communities.
During the Trump administration, more than 90% of border crossers during the pandemic were expelled using Title 42.
Judge Sullivan rejected the government’s argument that canceling Title 42 would be a “pull factor,” enticing more people to make the journey.
He pointed to the administration’s own data suggesting that even though the Border Patrol was making more apprehensions, an increasing number were repeats.
Customs and Border Protection, data released this week about August border operations, said that while agents and officers recorded 208,887 unauthorized entries, that comprised just 156,641 unique people.
The Biden administration had reportedly been looking to end Title 42 powers earlier this year, but an unprecedented surge of illegal immigration put that idea on ice as the administration struggled for other answers.
Instead it has shifted toward a get-tough policy, announcing an expansion of speedy deportation powers and flights to send illegal immigrants deeper into Mexico to prevent them immediately trying again.
More than 200,000 migrants were detained for illegal entry in August, roughly the same number as in July. Of those 200,000, just 44% were returned to Mexico under Title 42’s contagion containment authority. That means for the second month in a row, over 100,000 migrants were released by the Biden…
The crisis along the U.S. southern border is still terrible, and the liberal news media still don’t care. According to the latest statistics from U.S. Customs and Border Security, there were 208,887 encounters along the southern border, only a slight decrease from a revised 213,534 reported in July, a 21-year record.
Yet broadcast evening news coverage in August was virtually nil: Just 6 minutes, 28 seconds on the Big Three during the entire month, including weekends. That’s four minutes, 12 seconds on the NBC Nightly News; two minutes and 16 seconds on the CBS Evening News, and nothing — zero minutes and zero seconds — on ABC’s World News Tonight in August.
Compared to March 2021, when even the liberal media were treating the influx of illegal immigrants as a crisis, evening news coverage has dropped 94 percent, while the actual number of border encounters has risen by more than 20 percent.
One potential reason for the slight drop in border encounters: An August 25 ruling by the Supreme Court that directed the Biden administration to reinstate President Trump’s “remain in Mexico” policy, where asylum applicants would wait outside the U.S. while their claim was being considered.
According to a September 7 FoxNews.com report, because of the Supreme Court ruling “Border Patrol officials [have told] Fox News that they have started turning away more migrants trying to enter the U.S.”
Of the Big Three, only NBC Nightly News even bothered to note the Supreme Court ruling (94 seconds), which anchor Lester Holt cast as a “major defeat” for Biden. Reporter Pete Williams included a soundbite from the ACLU’s Omar Jadwat praising Biden’s (now-rejected) policy move: “All kinds of terrible things happened to these people while they were [waiting in Mexico] trying to get protection under the laws of the United States.”
The Court’s ruling came late in August, with only a few days left in the month. If September’s numbers show that the reinstatement of Trump’s policy does lead to a significant improvement, will the media give credit where credit is due? Or will they continue to bury one of Biden’s biggest self-inflicted disasters?