DEL RIO, Texas – Orange County Commissioner Victoria Siplin is on the ground in southern Texas from where she showed News 6 images of the current situation at Del Rio, Texas.
“The conditions here were very deplorable,” Siplin said. “They did the best that they could, but I think they were overwhelmed.”
Siplin arrived as U.S. border patrol agents worked to clear and clean up the bridge between the towns of Del Rio, Texas, and Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, where thousands of Haitian migrants had gathered.
“[There’s] a real cleanup that’s happening currently with major trucks, garbage trucks and so forth,” the Orange County commissioner said.
Siplin, a native of Haiti, is part of the National Haitian American Elected Officials network and flew to the Lone Star state to lend support. Siplin said it would be through translations or financial support. Siplin said the Haitian migrants that have been released by immigration authorities now have to continue a legal process.
“They’re different avenues with immigration that you can seek asylum; you can seek refuge,” Siplin said.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, of the nearly 15,000 Haitian migrants that had been camping out at the border crossing, about 1,400 had been sent to Haiti on 13 flights.
“None of them were processed and deported from under the bridge. They were actually taken to an ICE facility where they were interviewed and then processed,” Siplin said.
During a press conference, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said misinformation put the migrants’ lives in danger.
“One of the very unfortunate developments that we’ve seen is that in a variety of ways and a variety of places, some people are misinforming Haitians, whether in Haiti or Haitians residing in other countries, that they can come to the United States and stay,” Blinken said.
Siplin said during a briefing with border patrol agents, they were asked how that massive number of migrants made it to that border crossing.
“They blame technology and social media for the mass exodus of immigrants coming in,” Siplin said. “Once somebody puts out the word that, you know, you could come, it’s safe -- they do.”