Customs and Border Protection shut down two international bridges to deal with the crisis. The mayor of Eagle Pass, Rolando Salinas, declared an emergency on Wednesday, it seems with good reason. He told The New York Post that the surge of illegal immigrants, most of them single adult men from Venezuela, has swamped the city’s only migrant shelter. Many of them, says Salinas, “don’t want to listen to instructions.” He added, “Not all of them come in peace.”
Bill Melugin of Fox News has been in Eagle Pass this week posting jaw-dropping videos and images of the influx, which sure enough consists of mostly single adult men. The lines stretch over the river and along both banks as far as the eye can see. Whatever you think of the border and U.S. immigration policy, this is shocking.
All of it recalls the mass encampment of some 15,000 Haitians under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas, two years ago. At the time, images of what looked like a refugee camp you might see in a war-torn country dominated several news cycles, goading the Biden administration to disband the encampment and deport a small number of Haitians as a warning to others. Most of them fled back across the Rio Grande rather than face being deported to Haiti, a country they had left years ago for better jobs in South America (which countries they in turn left for better jobs in the United States).
But notice how the illegal immigrants in Melugin’s footage are walking calmly, not running, not trying to evade Border Patrol. They show every indication they believe they will not be detained long.
You might call it a crisis by design, to coin an Insta-phrase.