DEL RIO, Texas — The Chief of the United States Border Patrol, Raul Ortiz, told reporters the thousands of migrants gathered at the makeshift camp in Del Rio, Texas, will be removed to their country of origin. His comments came during a press conference near the scene where more than 12,000 mostly Haitian migrants are being held.
Chief Ortiz delivered remarks on Sunday afternoon and answered a few questions at a press conference in reference to the migrant encampment under the Del Rio International Bridge. The chief says the Border Patrol transferred 3,300 migrants from the camp in the last few days.
“They will be removed, and they will be sent back to their country of origin as mandated under our current law,” Ortiz promised. “We’re working around the clock to expeditiously move migrants out of the heat elements and promoted eaters bridge to our processing facilities in order to quickly process and remove individuals from the United States — consistent with our laws and our policies.”
The population of mostly Haitian migrants at the makeshift camp reached nearly 15,000 at its highest point on Saturday. Ortiz says the agency’s goal is to move 3,000 more from the camp to hardened detention facilities within the next 24 hours. Ortiz indicated the Border Patrol will surge nearly 600 personnel into the camp during the same time frame to assist with the evolving situation.
Chief Ortiz further emphasized the migrant population of the camp would be processed for removal under existing immigration laws as part of a six-part plan announced by the Department of Homeland Security earlier.
Ortiz says part of the plan has the agency working with transit and source countries to receive the mostly Haitian migrants currently detained at the outdoor camp. The removals will be taking place under the auspice of the Trump-era CDC emergency Title 42 emergency order.
The federal government’s goal, according to Ortiz, is to have the entire population of the camp moved to hardened detention facilities within the next six or seven days.
On Saturday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott deployed more than 50 Texas DPS Highway Patrol Troopers into the camp to block future border crossings at a weir dam used to enter the camp from Mexico. As reported by Breitbart Texas, illegal crossings into the camp ceased immediately. Ortiz confirmed that no further entry into the camp had occurred since midnight.
Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.