U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shut down a port of entry in South Texas in response to a large influx of migrants attempting to cross the Mexico border into the United States.
CBP closed the Del Rio port of entry late Friday and began diverting both commercial and passenger traffic 57 miles east to the Eagle Pass port of entry.
The closure was in response to a massive surge of migrants who had arrived at the Del Río-Ciudad Acuña International Bridge connecting Del Rio, Texas, with Ciudad Acuna in Mexico.
Media reports have said as many as 14,000 people, many reportedly from Haiti, are at the Texas border seeking asylum in the U.S.
“We’re anticipating this [closure] will last a whole week,” Armando Taboada, assistant director of field operations at CBP’s Laredo Field Office, said during a Monday meeting with the trade community. “Hopefully by the end of the week, there will be less migrants to deal with.”
Del Rio is in southwest Texas, about 150 miles west of San Antonio and 220 west of Laredo.
The Port of Del Rio is the 101st-ranked port of entry among the nation’s 450 international gateways, according to WorldCity.
In response to the migrants, the Department of Homeland Security has sent about 400 CBP agents to Del Rio to help restore order.
Taboada said officers from other Texas ports of entry had to be sent to Del Rio, which has had an impact on trade flows.
“Based on the numbers, the migrants are beginning to dwindle down and that’ll be a good indicator for us that maybe resources can be realigned,” Taboada said.
“Right now all the resources there at the port of Del Rio are being utilized, and we’re utilizing officers from the other seven ports of entry. So obviously their cargo was impacted. Hopefully we won’t have to amend any other hours of operations at any other location based on the resources.”
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