The Biden administration issued an emergency order Thursday evening banning drones from flying over the Del Rio, Texas open air border detention camp after videos from a Fox News drone informed the nation of the massive influx of mostly Haitian migrants whose arrival over the past few days has overwhelmed Border Patrol and the small Texas city. Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX) said earlier Del Rio was being “completely overrun” with migrants. There are reports a caravan of 20,000 migrants is headed to Del Rio. Over 10,000 are reported in the camp as of Thursday evening.
The Fox News drone images are shocking.
Fox reporter Bill Melugin posted several images, including the one above with the caption, “BREAKING: Our drone is back over the international bridge in Del Rio, TX. Per source, the number of migrants waiting to be processed has now swelled to approx 8,200. It was 4,000 yesterday AM. Doubled in one day. BP overwhelmed, & I’m told situation is “out of control”
And Melugin on Wednesday, “BREAKING: Our drone is currently over the international bridge in Del Rio, TX, where Border Patrol & law enforcement sources tell us over 4,200 migrants are waiting to be apprehended after crossing into US. Local BP holding facilities are overwhelmed and over capacity.”
Video report with drone footage from Wednesday:
In addition to Fox News, the San Antonio Express-Newsalso published drone footage of the camp.
The number of migrants has grown from 4,000 on Wednesday to over 10,000 as of early Thursday evening. The situation is so chaotic that hungry migrants are returning to Mexico to buy food and then returning to the detention camp on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande.
Excerpt from a Reuters report on migrants crossing the border at will to bring back food and supplies to the camp:
Thousands of migrants have converged under the bridge that connects Del Rio, Texas and Mexico’s Ciudad Acuña, creating a makeshift camp with few basic services in intense heat in the latest border emergency facing U.S. President Joe Biden.
Food and water has been scarce, around 20 migrants told Reuters, and temperatures have risen to around 99 Fahrenheit (37 Celsius). Reuters witnessed hundreds of migrants wading through the Rio Grande river and back into Mexico to stock up on essentials they say they are not receiving on the American side.
The migrants are mostly Haitians, with Cubans, Venezuelans and Nicaraguans also present.
The squalid conditions are reflective of the humanitarian challenge facing Biden as border arrests hover around 20-year highs. U.S. authorities arrested more than 195,000 migrants at the Mexican border in August, according to government data released on Wednesday.
Ernesto, a 31-year-old Haitian migrant, slipped back into Mexico on Thursday to buy water and food – for the fourth time, he said, since arriving in the United States on Monday morning. Ernesto, who declined to give his surname to protect his identity, said he and his 3-year-old daughter had not been fed at the camp, where migrants are jostling for shade.
…Migrants showed Reuters tickets with numbers they had received from U.S. Border Patrol. Several said other migrants told them they could be stuck at the camp for up to five days.
The Democrat mayor of Del Rio, Bruno Lozano, announced there are over 10,000 migrants now in the camp and called out Joe Biden, “Good evening from Del Río, TX. 10,503 (as of 6:45pm, September 16, 2021) migrants under the Del Río International Bridge. This morning we started at 8,200. President Biden, have you been briefed on the ongoing crisis yet?”
NOTAM Number : FDC 1/9857 Download shapefiles
Issue Date : September 16, 2021 at 2218 UTC
Location : Del Rio, Texas near LAUGHLIN VORTAC (DLF)
Beginning Date and Time : September 16, 2021 at 2230 UTC
Ending Date and Time : September 30, 2021 at 2230 UTC
Reason for NOTAM : Temporary flight restrictions for Special Security Reasons
Type : Security
Replaced NOTAM(s) : N/A
Center: On the LAUGHLIN VORTAC (DLF) 250 degree radial at 8.3 nautical miles. (Latitude: 29º19’46″N, Longitude: 100º55’34″W)
Radius: 2 nautical miles
Altitude: From the surface up to and including 1000 feet AGL
From September 16, 2021 at 2230 UTC (September 16, 2021 at 1730 CDT)
To September 30, 2021 at 2230 UTC (September 30, 2021 at 1730 CDT)
No UAS operations are authorized in the areas covered by this NOTAM (except as described).
EXC AS SPECIFIED BLO EXCLUDING MEXICAN AIRSPACE:
A. UAS OPS MAY BE AUTH WI THE DEFINED SSI AIRSPACE IF IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE RQMNTS LISTED BLW: 1) UAS OPS IN DCT SUPPORT OF AN ACT NTL DEFENSE, HOMELAND SECURITY, LAW ENFORCEMENT, FIREFIGHTING, SAR, OR DISASTER RESPONSE MISSION; 2) UAS OPS IN SUPPORT OF EVENT OPS; 3) COMMERCIAL UAS OPS WITH A VALID STATEMENT OF WORK; 4) MUST BE IN POSSESSION OF AN APPROVED SPECIAL GOVERNMENTAL INTEREST(SGI) AIRSPACE WAIVER; 5) AND COMPLY WITH ALL OTHER APPLICABLE FEDERAL AVIATION REGULATIONS.
B. UAS OPR IDENTIFIED IN A.1, A.2 OR A.3 ABV MUST APPLY FOR A SGI WAIVER VIA EMAIL AT 9-ATOR-HQ-SOSC@FAA.GOV.
C. UAS OPR WHO DO NOT COMPLY WITH APPLICABLE AIRSPACE RESTRICTIONS ARE WARNED THAT PURSUANT TO 10 U.S.C.SECTION 130I AND 6 U.S.C.SECTION 124N, THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE(DOD), THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY(DHS) OR THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE(DOJ) MAY TAKE SECURITY ACTION THAT RESULTS IN THE INTERFERENCE, DISRUPTION, SEIZURE, DAMAGING, OR DESTRUCTION OF UNMANNED ACFT DEEMED TO POSE A CREDIBLE SAFETY OR SECURITY THREAT TO PROTECTED PERSONNEL, FAC, OR ASSETS.
E. THE FAA RECOMMENDS THAT ALL ACFT OPR CK NOTAMS FREQUENTLY FOR POSSIBLE CHANGES TO THIS TFR PRIOR TO OPS WI THIS REGION.OPR MAY REVIEW THE TFR DETAILS ON THE INTERNET AT https://TFR.FAA.GOV/ OR https://WWW.1800WXBRIEF.COM. IF QUESTIONS REMAIN, CTC FSS, TEL 800-992-7433.
UPDATE: Fox reporter Bill Melugin, “NEW: We’ve learned that the FAA just implemented a two week TFR (Temporary Flight Restrictions) over the international bridge in Del Rio, TX, meaning we can no longer fly our FOX drone over it to show images of the thousands of migrants. FAA says “special security reason”….@FoxNews has been covering the border nonstop for almost 7 months now, we use the drone constantly, and it has never been an issue. We have reached out to the FAA to ask for clarification on why this TFR was implemented. We haven’t heard back yet. Will update if/when we do.”