Department of Homeland Security

Portion of Texas border where thousands of migrants crossed to reopen

The portion of the United States's border with Mexico in Texas where thousands of Haitian migrants crossed will be reopened for trade and travel operations Saturday afternoon.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said in a statement that it was able to reopen operations at the Del Rio Port of Entry following efforts to "expedite processing of the migrant flow to manageable levels."  

CBP said travel operations will resume at the Del Rio Port of Entry for passenger traffic at 4 p.m. on Saturday. Cargo operations will begin at 8 a.m. on Monday.

The port of entry was closed last week after an estimated 15,000 Haitian migrants camped out under a bridge in Del Rio.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Friday that there were no longer any migrants under the bridge. 

Mayorkas said that about 2,000 Haitians had been deported through repatriation flights under Title 42, the controversial policy allowing for expulsions for public health reasons. Roughly 8,000 voluntarily returned to Mexico, and another 5,000 are in CBP custody. 

The Biden administration's treatment of Haitian migrants was met with fierce backlash from Democrats this week, notably after images of border agents on horseback grabbing at migrants went viral.

Daniel Foote, who was appointed the U.S. special envoy to Haiti, resigned in protest this week over the "inhumane treatment of migrants," marking the sharpest internal criticism of the situation.

"Our policy approach to Haiti remains deeply flawed, and my recommendations have been ignored and dismissed, when not edited to project a narrative different from my own," Foote wrote in his resignation letter.