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Abbott Sends Fleet of Cars to Border to Create 'Steel Barrier', TX National Guard Joins Effort to Stop Migrant Surge

A line of Texas Department of Safety vehicles lines the bank of the Rio Grande near an encampment of migrants, many from Haiti, Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Looking to stem the migrant crisis at the U.S. southern border, the governor of Texas reported his law enforcement officials have created what he calls a "steel barrier" -- lining up a fleet of state vehicles to stop the surge of migrants.

"They have created a steel barrier preventing people from being able to cross the border," Abbott said at a press conference Tuesday addressing the migrant crisis in Del Rio, Texas. 

Abbott also reports the Texas National Guard Soldiers has deployed tactical vehicles to the border in support of Operation Lone Star to secure the border. 

Abbott called what's happening with a surge of Haitian migrants at the state's border with Mexico "total chaos" and that the Biden administration needs to "up their game big time."

"They have shown no capability of being able to process all of these migrants by the end of this week," he said. "The only thing that they've shown is an incapability of dealing with this crisis candidly in a way where they pretend it doesn't even exist. And we're here to tell you it exists, it's total chaos. And the Biden administration, they need to up their game big time."

The United States government has been ramping up expulsion flights to Haiti, and Mexico has begun flying and busing some away from the border. U.S. officials say more than 6,000 Haitians and other migrants have been removed from an encampment around a bridge in Del Rio.

Meanwhile, two U.S. officials say that many of the migrants in Del Rio, are being released into the U.S., undercutting the Biden administration's public statements that thousands in the camp face immediate expulsion to back to Haiti.

Haitians have been freed on a "very, very large scale" in recent days, according to one U.S. official who put the figure in the thousands. The official, who has direct knowledge of operations, was not authorized to discuss the matter Tuesday and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Many have been released with notices to appear at an immigration office within 60 days, an outcome that requires less processing time from Border Patrol agents than ordering an appearance in immigration court, the official said.

"Right now, it is not clear how they are being processed, what criteria Border Patrol is using to say who should have access to parole, who is going on the deportation flights," said attorney Wade McMullen with Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit human rights advocacy organization. McMullen had traveled to Del Rio to assist other advocacy groups helping the immigrants at the camp.

Advocates also don't know how many of the immigrants have been deported so far and how many have been released into the U.S., he said.

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