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Ted Cruz says migrant crisis grew from 900 to 15,000 in weeks after Biden canceled flights to Haiti

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Ted Cruz has slammed Joe Biden’s chaotic management of the migrant border crisis, saying thousands of desperate Haitians rushed to Texas after the president canceled deportation flights.

Up to 15,000 migrants have been living in squalid conditions in an impromptu camp that sprang up under a bridge spanning the Rio Grande from the Texas town Del Rio to Mexico’s Ciudad Acuna. 

The Department of Homeland Security say they have removed 4,600 people in recent days from the site but have not revealed how many have been released into the US.

The White House has also refused to answer when, if ever, Biden has visited the border, even in his previous roles as vice president and senator.

Following the recent crackdown in response to the huge influx, hundreds of migrants have instead headed to Mexico’s refugee agencies and shelters amid the chaotic scenes.  

Speaking to Fox News‘ Laura Ingraham, Cruz, a Republican Texas senator, said: ‘What’s happening in Del Rio really illustrates the cause-and-effect of the Biden border disaster. To really understand it, you have to go back to September 8.

Up to 15,000 migrants have been living in squalid conditions in an impromptu camp that sprang up under a bridge spanning the Rio Grande

Migrants seeking refuge in the US wade through the Rio Grande river from Ciudad Acuna in Mexico

Migrants seeking refuge in the US wade through the Rio Grande river from Ciudad Acuna in Mexico

This overhead photo shows some of the hundreds of Texas state SUVs used to form a de-facto steel barrier along the United States-Mexico border in Del Rio, Texas

This overhead photo shows some of the hundreds of Texas state SUVs used to form a de-facto steel barrier along the United States-Mexico border in Del Rio, Texas 

Ted Cruz has slammed Joe Biden's management of the migrant border crisis, saying thousands of Haitians rushed to Texas after the president canceled deportation flights

Ted Cruz has slammed Joe Biden’s management of the migrant border crisis, saying thousands of Haitians rushed to Texas after the president canceled deportation flights

‘On September 8, under that bridge, there were, on any given day, between 700 and 1,000 illegal immigrants, mostly from Haiti.

‘On September 8 there were roughly 900 Haitians that were scheduled to be on airplanes to go back to Haiti and the Biden administration canceled those flights. 

‘They said, ‘We’re not gonna deport you. You can stay here. You can remain in America.’

‘And what happened was simple. Those 900 Haitians, they pulled out their phones. And they got their phone and they called their families, they called their friends. They texted their family and friends.’

Migrants have been using Facebook, YouTube and WhatsApp to share detailed instructions with friends and family back home on how to cross the border into the US, it was recently revealed.

Migrants, many of them from Haiti, are pictured wading back and forth between Texas and Mexico on Wednesday. At the weekend an estimated 14,000 migrants were sheltering in Del Rio

Migrants, many of them from Haiti, are pictured wading back and forth between Texas and Mexico on Wednesday. At the weekend an estimated 14,000 migrants were sheltering in Del Rio

The White House has refused to answer when, if ever, Biden has visited the border, even in his previous roles as vice president and senator

The White House has refused to answer when, if ever, Biden has visited the border, even in his previous roles as vice president and senator

A photo from September 22 shows migrants being routed out of a makeshift border camp after being processed by US officials. The White House has pledged to deport most of the migrants back to Haiti under Title 42, but reports indicate that's not the case for some being released

A photo from September 22 shows migrants being routed out of a makeshift border camp after being processed by US officials. The White House has pledged to deport most of the migrants back to Haiti under Title 42, but reports indicate that’s not the case for some being released

How migrant crisis on Texas border developed in just a few weeks

There has been a stream of migrants flooding into the US since the start of Joe Biden’s presidency.

But recent weeks have seen a huge uptick of people trying to enter Texas via the Rio Grande, mostly from Haiti.

The island nation has been dogged by crime, poverty and natural disasters, with a recent earthquake displacing thousands, fuelling a further rush to the US.

The Biden administration put a hold on deportation flights in response to the earthquake, allowing thousands to gather in camps in Del Rio. 

The suspension has since been reversed, with flights recommencing Sunday.

Under Title 42, migrants can be repatriated to their home nations without the possibility of requesting asylum due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Cruz continued: ‘You had 700 people on September 8. I was down in Del Rio eight days later on September 16. The day I was there, 700 people had become 10,503. It took eight days for that to happen.

‘Within a couple of days that 10,000 had become 15,000 and it was straight cause-and-effect. The word went out that the Biden administration is not going to enforce the law.

‘And if you’re from Haiti, come to Del Rio because that means you get to stay, and that’s what’s produced this disaster.’ 

Biden initially suspended repatriation flights to Haiti after a magnitude 7.2 earthquake that killed more than 2,000 people and damaged more than 100,000 homes.

But he has since stepped up the deportation blitz in order to curb the number of undocumented migrants flooding into Del Rio as thousands continued to arrive. 

The official line is that Haitians are being expelled from the US back to the crisis-stricken Caribbean nation under a Donald Trump-era rule.

Under Title 42, migrants can be repatriated to their home nations without the possibility of requesting asylum due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some 523 Haitians have since been deported to their homeland on four flights, with repatriations set to continue on a regular basis, the Department of Homeland Security said.

But thousands of migrants have also been freed into the US on a ‘very, very large scale’ rather than being flown out as the Biden administration promised, according to officials. It’s estimated as many as 5,000 migrants have been allowed in.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has been forced to use ‘unprecedented’ methods to prevent more from entering his state by creating a ‘steel barrier’ of hundreds of vehicles at the border.

Migrants exit a Border Patrol bus and prepare to be received by the Val Verde Humanitarian Coalition after crossing the Rio Grande on Wednesday

Migrants exit a Border Patrol bus and prepare to be received by the Val Verde Humanitarian Coalition after crossing the Rio Grande on Wednesday

A young child clings to their father as he wades across the river into the United States

A young child clings to their father as he wades across the river into the United States

They are lined up outside Del Rio in Texas, which has seen an influx of 14,600 migrants who crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico into the US. An estimated 8,600 remained in the town of 35,000 people as of Tuesday night, with 1,083 so far deported back to Haiti

They are lined up outside Del Rio in Texas, which has seen an influx of 14,600 migrants who crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico into the US. An estimated 8,600 remained in the town of 35,000 people as of Tuesday night, with 1,083 so far deported back to Haiti

Abbott visited the site on Tuesday and praised DPS and Texas National Guard for creating the barrier by using hundreds of state-owned vehicles, almost all of which appear to be bulky SUVs.  

Unlike Abbott, Biden is yet to witness the scenes of chaos firsthand, where migrants are living in squalid conditions and forced to sleep on the ground under makeshift tents from discarded clothing and tree branches in searing heat.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was pressed on whether Biden had visited the southern border at all in his life but she said she could not provide a date.

The president has frequently visited areas affected by natural disasters but is yet to make a trip to the current crisis emerging in Texas.  

The makeshift border camp at one point swelled to more than 14,000 migrants, with this photo emphasizing just how large the encampment has become

The makeshift border camp at one point swelled to more than 14,000 migrants, with this photo emphasizing just how large the encampment has become 

Del Rio in Texas, which has seen an influx of 14,600 migrants who crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico into the US. An estimated 8,600 remained in the town of 35,000 people as of Tuesday night, with 1,083 so far deported back to Haiti. Thousands more have been released into the US

Del Rio in Texas, which has seen an influx of 14,600 migrants who crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico into the US. An estimated 8,600 remained in the town of 35,000 people as of Tuesday night, with 1,083 so far deported back to Haiti. Thousands more have been released into the US

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said: ‘Has Joe Biden ever been to the border? It’s a question that needs to be answered by the president, who is presiding over the most disastrous border crisis in decades.

‘The RNC Research team investigated and has been unable to find a single example of Biden visiting the border in at least a decade, even when he was Obama’s border czar. Biden created a humanitarian crisis at the border and refuses to take responsibility for it.

‘The buck stops with him, and it is long past time for Biden to make the trip, see the devastating impacts of his open border policies for himself, and address the crises his failed policies created.’ 

Filippo Grandi, the head of the UN refugee agency, has warned that US expulsions to such a volatile situation might violate international law.

The chaotic scenes at the border and news of the expulsion flights convinced some Haitian migrants transiting through Mexico that it would be better to petition for legal status there, rather than risk crossing the U.S. border.

‘My thinking is to find a better life, wherever I find it… I never said it had to be in the United States,’ said Wilner Plaisir, a Haitian asylum seeker waiting outside the offices of the Mexican refugee agency COMAR in Mexico City on Wednesday.

John Rourke on Wednesday night told of the distressing scenes he saw in Del Rio, Texas

John Rourke on Wednesday night told of the distressing scenes he saw in Del Rio, Texas

Timeline of a border crisis that caught Biden by surprise 

May 22 2021: Department of Homeland Security announces Haitians in US will be granted Temporary Protection Status (TPS), meaning they can’t be deported and can apply for documentation that allows them to work

July 7: Haitian President Jovenel Moise is assassinated at his presidential palace in Port-au-Prince

August 14: Haiti is hit by magnitude 7.2 earthquake, killing at least 2,000

September 17: An estimated 12,000 migrants suddenly arrive in Del Rio, Texas, after crossing the Rio Grande River from Mexico. Many had been granted refugee status in Brazil and Chile after an earlier quake in 2010

September 18: Biden administration announces it will swiftly deport Haitians who cross into the US from Mexico

September 19: The number of migrants in Del Rio swells to an estimated 14,600. Deportation flights to Haiti begin, with 327 people flown out of the US

September 20: Border Patrol officials continue bussing Haitians away from Del Rio, with a further 233 deported. Photos of migrants being confronted by agents on horseback cracking their reigns emerge

September 21: Another 523 people are deported via plane, with the number of Haitians remaining in Del Rio estimated at 8,600. Texas Governor Greg Abbott arranges for hundreds of state vehicles to form a makeshift border wall in Del Rio

September 22: Unnamed sources tell AP thousands of Haitians apprehended in Del Rio have been released into the US rather than deported. Seven flights have been scheduled to continue the deportation effort. 

‘If I can find work, I’ll stay here with my family,’ said the construction worker.

Statistics published by COMAR show that 18,883 Haitians applied for asylum in Mexico in the first eight months of this year, the second-highest nationality after Hondurans.

Border Patrol agents were so concerned about the escalating situation at the border that they requested additional resources three months ago – but their concerns were not acted on by superiors.

Jon Anfinsen, National Border Patrol Council local president told CNN that the union on June 1 suggested improvements to the system.

Anfinsen said that they wanted agents to be sent to the border with tablets to start the intake process when a large group crosses the river, instead of having the group wait there while space is cleared in the station.

‘This way, we can at least get part of the process finished before they even get to the station instead of wasting that time,’ said the email.

The union followed up on June 3, and also suggested placing a trailer in the area for additional staff, to deal with a predicted surge.

On June 17, the union received a one-sentence response: ‘This is being explored, several other platforms are being considered which are more efficient.’ 

Meanwhile an Army veteran who organizes annual clean-ups of American cities has told of his shock at the squalid conditions along the border.

John Rourke, founder of the Great American Clean-Up, said that he and his team were taken aback at the scenes.

Alejandro Mayorkas, the Homeland Security Secretary, was in the city on Monday but Rourke told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson that more needed to be done. 

‘Let me tell you what I saw,’ Rourke said. 

‘I saw people washing babies in the Rio Grande.

‘I saw ladies breastfeeding babies, sleeping in dirt, 107 degrees outside, red ants everywhere, real coyotes – the ones that have four legs walking around.

‘It’s like Naked And Afraid: the southern border edition, out there. 

‘People are literally knocking down trees and setting up lean-tos and teepees and sleeping under those.’

He said he and his colleagues ‘picked up thousands of pounds of garbage along the southern border.’  

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