The United States on Saturday reopened a border crossing in Texas after shutting it down because thousands of illegal immigrants streamed into the area.
The immigrants crossed the Rio Grande River and entered Del Rio, a small Texas border city. Some 30,000 were encountered between Sept. 9 and Sept. 24, according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The high number overwhelmed local resources, including health care facilities, officials told The Epoch Times.
In response to the crisis, DHS closed the Del Rio Port of Entry, which is reached through the International Bridge. A camp under the bridge held many of the immigrants, though it was completely cleared out on Friday.
Customs and Border Protection said the reopening was due to the immigrants being processed into the country, moved elsewhere, or deported. The agency said in a statement that public safety has been “restored” and the immigrant flow has been reduced to “manageable levels.”
Traffic was allowed through starting at 4 p.m. local time. Cargo traffic will resume effective Monday morning, Customs and Border Protection said in a statement.
The port of entry, which is typically open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, was closed on Sept. 17. Traffic was rerouted to Eagle Pass Port of Entry, nearly 60 miles southeast.
About $17,000 was lost a day on missed tolls alone, Del Rio Mayor Bruno Lozano, a Democrat, told reporters on Friday.
Another $35 million per day was lost in trade goods that typically cross the border in either direction.
Del Rio officials are still assessing the actual loss “but I can tell you that it has been a big toll on businesses,” Lozano said, adding that some workers were forced to add hours to their commute because of the closure.
Roughly 12,400 illegal immigrants encountered by U.S. agents since Sept. 9 were released into the U.S. interior with notices to appear in court or at a federal government office, according to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Just 2,000 have been deported. The others are being processed in different U.S. border areas or returned to Mexico voluntarily.
Under President Joe Biden, illegal immigration has exploded. Some immigration experts say the dramatic change in policy, such as no longer expelling illegal immigrant children who arrive without a responsible adult, has led to the jump. Biden administration officials have defended the overhaul, alleging the Trump era system was “cruel” and needed to be changed. The shift will take time to implement, they’ve said.
“We have a three-part plan: We invest in the root causes to address the need—to address the reason why people leave the homes in which they live and take a perilous journey that they should not take. Second, the building of safe, orderly, and humane pathways. And third, rebuilding an asylum system and a refugee program that were dismantled in the prior administration,” Mayorkas said.
“This takes time, and we are executing our plans,” he added.
From The Epoch Times