Photography

The scene as thousands of migrants camp at U.S.-Mexico border

Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post

Thousands of mostly Haitian migrants are crossing the Rio Grande into the United States, and nearly 15,000 are sleeping under a highway bridge in deteriorating unsanitary conditions, overwhelming local and federal authorities.

Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post

Del Rio, Tex., Mayor Bruno Lozano (D) said people have come to the border town by the thousands in recent days, and he has called the situation “unsustainable.” He has repeatedly requested more federal support to cope with the surge in crossings.

On Monday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) requested that President Biden issue an emergency declaration for the state because of the influx.

Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post

Migrants, most from Haiti, walk back toward the Rio Grande in Ciudad Acuna, Mexico, on Thursday, Sept. 16.

Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post

Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post

Haitian migrants set up camp along the Rio Grande after crossing into the United States from Mexico on Friday, Sept. 17.

Eric Gay/AP

Eric Gay/AP

Haitian migrants rest near the Del Rio International Bridge in Texas on Friday, Sept. 17.

Marie D. De Jesús/AP

Marie D. De Jesús/AP

Many of these migrants arriving in Del Rio, Tex., are Haitians who have fled corruption, disaster and poverty in their home country. Some because of the August earthquake that devastated Haiti, and the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse.

Other migrants say deteriorating social and economic conditions in South America drove them to set out again this year on a long, treacherous journey to the United States.

Marie D. De Jesús/AP

A migrant and his daughter prepare to wade through the Rio Grande toward the Texas border in Ciudad Acuna, Mexico, on Thursday, Sept. 16.

Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post

Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post

A migrant prepares to enter the Rio Grande in Ciudad Acuna, Mexico, on Thursday, Sept. 16.

Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post

Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post

Migrants cross through the Rio Grande in Ciudad Acuna, Mexico, on Thursday, Sept. 16.

Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post

Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post

The recent influx has overwhelmed local officials and immigration authorities. The Homeland Security Department said Monday that it will investigate reports of Border Patrol agents abusing migrants, accounts that prompted condemnation from immigration advocates and lawmakers.

Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post

Migrants cross the Rio Grande in Ciudad Acuna, Mexico, on Saturday, Sept. 18.

Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post

Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post

An officer with the Texas Department of Public Safety orders people to leave the river area as migrants cross back into the U.S. side of the Rio Grande on Saturday, Sept. 18.

Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post

Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post

Migrants near the Rio Grande in Ciudad Acuna, Mexico, on Saturday, Sept. 18.

Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post

Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post

On Sunday, the Biden administration began sending planeloads of migrants back to Haiti under a policy used during the Trump administration to rapidly expel migrants because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post

Border Patrol officials said Sunday that the United States has bused more than 3,000 people from the camp to migrant facilities in San Antonio, Laredo and Eagle Pass, where they will be processed. Some migrants who were allowed into the United States were dropped off at bus stations.

Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post

Osmay Rodriguez waves goodbye as a bus departs Del Rio for San Antonio.

Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post

Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post

A migrant woman waits at a bus stop in Del Rio, Tex.

Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post

Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post

A volunteer's daughter plays with a migrant baby as the family waits for the bus to arrive in Del Rio, Tex.

Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post

Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post

The Biden administration has proposed a higher cap on refugee admissions to the United States, The Washington Post confirmed Monday. About 15,000 of the 125,000 admitted to the country could come from Latin America and the Caribbean, according to the proposal, which could go into effect Oct. 1 if Congress approves it.

Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post

Members of the Texas National Guard stand guard at a gate near the international bridge in Del Rio, Tex., on Friday, Sept. 17.

Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post

Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post

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Credits

Arelis R. Hernández, Nick Miroff, Seung Min Kim and Felicia Sonmez contributed to this report. Photo editing and Production by Karly Domb Sadof