AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM) – Texas Governor Greg Abbott has sent a letter to President Joe Biden requesting an emergency declaration for the state as a result of the escalating crisis at the Texas-Mexico border.

The letter specifically noted the situation in the Val Verde County city of Del Rio,  which they called ‘dire’. Thousands of migrants — mostly from Haiti — have converged on the city about 145 miles west of San Antonio.

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According to the latest Customs and Border Protection figures, more than 29,000 Haitians have arrived over the past 11 months. Some 12,000 of those are in South Texas, living in a makeshift camp near and under the Del Rio International Bridge.

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Mass deportations for those migrants are underway, with more than 300 Haitians already flown back to their home country on Sunday.

The request from Gov. Abbott says, “The federal government’s failure to enforce immigration laws and in particular, its failure to halt illegal crossings on a dam on federal property, which is the sole jurisdiction of the federal government, is leading to substantial burdens on local and state resources.”

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Abbott says the surge in asylum seeks in Del Rio is posing, “… life-threatening risks to residents of Val Verde County and is quickly overrunning law enforcement and health care and humanitarian resources.”

CBSDFW.com Staff