The last group of migrants has been bused out and the camp bulldozed, Fox News correspondent Jeff Paul tweeted on Friday afternoon.
Citing the US Border Patrol, Paul said seven flights had returned 1,949 migrants to Haiti. Another 3,901 have been moved to other Customs and Border Patrol facilities in Texas – supposedly to be deported – while 3,100 still remain in the Del Rio sector.
That accounts for only 9,000 or so of the more than 15,000 who were reported to be at the camp earlier this week, however.
Thousands of mainly Haitian migrants had waded across the Rio Grande and camped out under the bridge in an effort to claim asylum in the US. Paul’s colleague Bill Melugin was the first to show pictures of their arrival last week.
The Biden administration’s initial response was to ban Fox News’ camera drone from flying over the area. The ban was quickly revoked after public outrage, and the narrative shifted to photos and video of mounted Border Patrol agents striking the migrants with “whips.”
Congressional Democrats, President Joe Biden, and Vice President Kamala Harris all condemned the “whipping” of the migrants, with one congresswoman saying it was “worse than slavery.” The agents in question were suspended, and the Border Patrol said it would no longer use horses to patrol the border.
The “whipping” report appears to have been incorrect from the start, however. The photographer who filmed the event said that at no point had anyone been struck by the agents, who had been swinging their reins – not whips – to control their horses.
The Democrats have argued that the migrants in Del Rio had been seeking sanctuary after last month’s earthquake and the political turmoil following the assassination of the Haitian president in July.
According to reporters on the border, however, very few of them had arrived direct from the Caribbean island, but had instead most recently been living in South American countries such as Chile and Brazil. They claim those they spoke to were seeking to ‘upgrade’ their life after finding out that the Biden administration would not deport asylum seekers.
Thousands of the migrants have been released into the interior of the US and given notice to show up for their asylum hearing. One group being transported to a processing facility in nearby Brownsville briefly took over a Border Patrol bus on Monday in an attempt to flee but were soon captured, according to local authorities.
More than a million migrants have crossed the US-Mexico border illegally since Biden was sworn in as president in January.
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