After a shocking footage showing 10,000+ migrants packed under a bridge in South Texas was released Friday, the US Federal Aviation Administration has barred drones from flying in the area, effectively preventing local media from capturing aerial footage showing conditions at the site.
Citing “special security reasons” for the evident media blackout, the FAA notice issued on Thursday evening announced a two-week no-fly zone for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) over the Del Rio Bridge in south Texas.
The statement said that the Border Patrol requested the temporary flight restriction due to drones interfering with law enforcement flights on the border, noting that media can call the FAA for a permit to operate in the area.
US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) informed that toughly 10,000 mostly Haitian migrants are awaiting processing crowded under a border Del Rio International Bridge in South Texas Thursday.
It noted that Border Patrol is increasing its manpower and coordinating efforts to immediately address the situation and to facilitate a safe, humane and orderly process providing drinking water, towels and portable toilets for migrants to use as they wait for processing.
Del Rio’s Mayor Bruno Lozano has put the figure at more than 10,500 as of Thursday night and called on President Biden to address the ongoing crisis in the Texas border town.
Texas GOP Senator Ted Cruz has taken the opportunity to blast Biden administration’s handling of the “manmade crisis” which, according to him, is result of the White House’s recent decision to freeze deportations to Haiti.
Sharing the footage from the site he visited personally, he warned that the number of migrants had grown more than tenfold in the period of one week due to Biden’s political decision.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has joined Cruz in blasting Biden over the border issue, saying that his administration’s response to migrant crisis on the US south border has been appalling and on the level of sheer negligence.
He directed local authorities to shut down six points of entry along the southern border earlier on Thursday to prevent the migrant caravans from overrunning Texas.
Republican Sen. Tom Cotton, on the other side, demanded FAA to explain its decision to ban drones from flying, accusing them of blocking the media from covering Biden’s border crisis.