Bexar County increases deputy presence as federal, state agencies monitor Del Rio

Local News

Haitian migrants use a dam to cross to and from the United States from Mexico, Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. Thousands of Haitian migrants have assembled under and around a bridge in Del Rio presenting the Biden administration with a fresh and immediate challenge as it tries to manage large numbers of asylum-seekers who have been reaching U.S. soil. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

BEXAR COUNTY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar visited Del Rio on Monday to evaluate the repercussions that the border “humanitarian crisis” has to the county.

Last week, a group of over 10,000 migrants, mostly from Haiti, arrived at the Del Rio international bridge. In response to the large group, federal officials, Texas DPS deputies, and Border Patrol agents were sent to help keep order.

The sheriff said in a press conference that the visit was planned after hearing reports that agents were not working Border Patrol Checkpoints.

Because deputies and agents are focusing on the Del Rio border, other border areas are left unmonitored, leaving room for human and drug smuggling, Sheriff Salazar explained.

“In the absence of any agents at the checkpoints, it causes a concern for us,” he said. “We did step up our presence over the weekend, we put more deputies out in the highway and redirecting some existing resources over to the highways.”

The sheriff said that what he saw at Del Rio was “eyeopening” after seeing a”mass sea of humanity.” He explained that not only did he see the group on the U.S. side of the border harboring under a bridge, but he also saw people walking back and forth the Rio Grande river.

“We don’t know exactly who these people are— the vast majority are from Haiti,” Sheriff Salazar said. “The vast majority I’m sure are great people that are just here to look for a better life, but, there is no way to tell… if there are some bad actors in there.”

On Monday, Abbott asked President Joe Biden for an emergency declaration for the state of Texas in response to the migrant influx, specifically in Del Rio.

Bexar County Sheriff’s Office created a Spanish public service announcement video, which shows a 911 emergency call of migrants that were being smuggled and are stuck.

Sheriff Salazar said that the PSA was made to reach undocumented migrants considering “making a trip” and warn them about hazards, and how unsafe it can be.

Click here to watch the full press conference and the PSA.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Community Stories