The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced a two-week flight restriction over the Del Rio International Bridge linking Mexico to Texas. The ban includes media drones outlets like Fox News have used to show images of a crowd of illegal immigrants, now estimated at 12,000, huddled on the Texas side of the border underneath the bridge.
Val Verde County Sheriff Joe Frank Martinez told the Houston Chronicle that the group, primarily Haitian asylum-seekers, is reportedly waiting to be processed by federal immigration authorities. Martinez added that Border Patrol agents at the scene are overwhelmed.
Meanwhile, Fox News reporter Bill Melugin tweeted in response to the FAA’s announcement that Fox has used a drone for seven months at the border without incident. Melugin tweeted footage this morning from ground level showing a steady stream of migrants illegally crossing the Rio Grande.
Fox News adds:
It is the latest scene of chaos at the border as the Biden administration continues to struggle to handle a continued and relentless migrant surge, which has overwhelmed authorities and led to Republican claims that the administration’s immigration policies are to blame.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced Wednesday that there were 208,887 migrant encounters in August, a slight decline from the 212,000 encounters in July and the second month in a row where the number of encounters breached the 200,000 mark. Fox News first reported the numbers.
The Biden administration has blamed the Trump administration for sealing off legal pathways to asylum, while pushing a strategy that includes a strong focus on tackling root causes like violence, corruption, and poverty in Central America.
Republicans have blamed the Biden administration’s rollback of Trump-era policies like border wall construction and the Migrant Protection Protocols. Republicans immediately pointed to the footage as proof that the Biden strategy is not working.
The FAA initially released a nontransparent statement for its Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR), calling it necessary for “special security reasons.”
Melugin later received an updated statement: