- Thousands of migrants, mostly from Haiti, are sheltering under the Del Rio International Bridge.
- They are waiting to be processed by US immigration authorities, who already face a backlog.
- Conditions there appear squalid, with people sleeping on the dirt with little access to clean water.
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Videos show thousands of migrants in a makeshift camp under a Texas bridge as they wait to be processed by US immigration authorities.
The migrants were sheltering under the Del Rio International Bridge, which crosses the Rio Grande from Mexico to the US.
Videos showed many of them carrying their belongings and wading through ankle- or waist-deep water across the Rio Grande to reach the US.
-Sky News (@SkyNews) September 17, 2021
-Reuters (@Reuters) September 17, 2021
Earlier this week there were a few hundred migrants at the camp, The New York Times reported. But as of Friday, there were more than 10,000, with US immigration authorities expecting more in the coming days, The Washington Post reported.
Conditions there appear rough: Photos and videos show people sheltering under makeshift tents or lying on the ground, with trash strewn about.
Bruno Lozano, the mayor of Del Rio, told The Times there was little access to clean water and food, and few portable toilets. The Times reported that people were sleeping outdoors on the dirt under floodlights.
The temperature in Del Rio has also soared above 100 degrees Fahrenheit in recent days, AccuWeather reported.
Most of the migrants are from Haiti, The Times reported, citing US Border Patrol.
This summer Haiti saw its president assassinated in his private residence, unleashing political turmoil and instability, and a powerful earthquake that killed 2,100 people and left others struggling for basic necessities.
President Joe Biden's administration, in response, extended a measure that would allow some Haitians living in the US without legal status to qualify for residency and protect them from from deportation.
US immigration authorities already face a backlog from the end of the Trump administration. Meanwhile the number of migrants entering the US has continued to increase.
The Department of Homeland Security sent extra officers to help with the processing at Del Rio International Bridge, The Times reported, citing an unnamed officer with knowledge of the plans.
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas on Thursday tweeted a video of himself at the bridge, calling it a "manmade crisis" caused by Biden, saying: "When you have open borders, this is what you get."
Republicans have long criticized the Biden administration for what they call a "crisis" or "surge" at the southern border. The number of migrants attempting to entering the US has increased under Biden's presidency, but experts have said the Republican characterization was largely untrue.
The Biden administration has been urging migrants not to attempt the perilous journey into the US.