DEL RIO, Texas (Border Report) – In a surprising response to a mass of migrants living under an international bridge at the Texas / Mexico border, U.S. customs and border protection officials at around 6 p.m. suddenly closed the international bridge in Del Rio.
Residents and workers trying to return home on both sides of the border found themselves stranded as rush hour traffic hit this busy port – the only one in the region.
“This temporary closure and change is necessary to meet the urgent safety and security needs presented by the influx of migrants to Del Rio, and is effective immediately,” CBP said in a press release.
CBP officials urged traffic that normally uses the Del Rio International Bridge, which connects the city of Ciudad AcuÃ±a in northern Mexico, to instead use the Eagle Pass International Bridge in Texas, about 100 km southeast of Del Rio.
But this bridge connects Piedras Negras, and many motorists told Border Report they didn’t know how to get back safely to Ciudad AcuÃ±a and some truckers said they didn’t have permission from their companies to hijack their vehicles. routes.
Many residents remained in their vehicles for hours, completely unaware that the bridge would most likely remain closed overnight, according to local officials.
A lot of people live in Mexico but they work here in Del Rio so they are trying to get home. said Christi Dehoyos, whose family runs a taxi service near the bridge.
On Friday night, Val Verde County Judge Lewis Owens walked in the dark speaking personally to motorists, cyclists and pedestrians and telling them the bridge was not going to open and that they either had to either go around or find a place to spend the night.
Owens told Border Report it was a necessary security measure as law enforcement attempts to subdue the migrant crowd, which he said numbered more than 13,000 as of Friday evening.
The mayor of Del Rio released a local disaster declaration earlier Friday and called for all southbound lanes to be closed. But that didn’t happen until federal officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security approved the shutdown tonight.
âWith what the mayor was about to do, I applaud him and his efforts to try to take care of the citizens and for security reasons, which is why he was asking that this be done. We got a phone call this afternoon saying the port would basically close at 6pm and that was done federally, âsaid Owens.
Texas Governor Abbott promised to send additional resources, such as state soldiers and roadblocks, which were brought in from Laredo, Texas.
Suggest a correction