Mass of Migrants Crosses Rio Grande, Enters U.S. Illegally as Border Crisis Worsens

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Migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. bathe and wash their clothes in the Rio Grande river near the International Bridge between Mexico and the U.S. as they wait to be processed, in Del Rio, Texas, September 2021. (Go Nakamura/Reuters)

Taking advantage of an apparent lapse in border security at the junction of Del Rio, Texas and Mexico, hundreds of migrants crossed the Rio Grande River and illegally entered the United States.

Video footage recorded by Fox News depicts masses of people wading into the water to reach the other side.

BREAKING: I am absolutely stunned by what I’m witnessing right now. We are on a boat in the Rio Grande near the Del Rio international bridge and we are watching as masses of hundreds of migrants walk across the river from Mexico and stream into the US illegally. @FoxNews pic.twitter.com/xXE4pDkpIe

— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) September 18, 2021

Within the last day, an estimated 11,000 migrants have congregated under the Del Rio international bridge, waiting to be apprehended by U.S. border patrol for processing. Many of the migrants have set up encampments and shelters, according to photos Fox News captured.

The federal government is reportedly bringing in school buses from the local Texas school district to help transport the crowds of migrants under the bridge, an anonymous U.S. Border Patrol source told Bill Melugin of Fox News.

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This development at the border comes after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) imposed a temporary flight restriction over Del Rio, Texas, on Thursday, grounding preventing Fox News drones from collecting evidence and conducting reconnaissance of the recent influx of migrants.

As its reason for suspending the free air space for drones, the FAA cited “special security reasons” without providing additional clarification.

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“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,” the agency said in a statement.

To get around the drone limitation, Melugin secured a ride on a helicopter operated by Texas border patrol to investigate the situation from an elevated perspective.

“We reported earlier that the FAA grounded our Fox News drones, we cannot fly those. Well, the troopers with Texas BPS are kind enough to let us go up in their helicopter with them to get a look at the situation at this bridge right now,” Melugin reported.

“This time two days ago, there were just over 4,000 people. There are now upwards of 11,000. We’re talking nearly a tripling of the numbers in just 48 hours or so,” he added.

Melugin suggested that migrants flooded the bridge area intentionally because border personnel are more sparsely positioned there. The detention centers and agents have been handed a situation they are  unprepared to handle given the sheer number of migrants, he implied.

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“The reason why they’re all congregated underneath that bridge is Border Patrol doesn’t have enough agents to process these folks, they’re completely overwhelmed. Their holding facilities are completely over capacity,” he said.

Migrant encounters at U.S.-Mexico border are currently at a 21-year high.

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