Del Rio: A Case Study of the U.S. Illegal Immigration Crisis

Parsing Immigration Policy, Episode 22

By Mark Krikorian and Todd Bensman on September 23, 2021

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Listen to "Del Rio: A Case Study of the U.S. Illegal Immigration Crisis" on Spreaker.


Thousands of illegal aliens poured into Del Rio, Texas last week forming an encampment that eventually peaked with an estimated 15,000 migrants. Thousands of mostly Haitians, but also Cubans and other nationalities, waited for processing to enter the country as an overwhelmed Biden administration struggled to control the growing camp, and Texas moved to stop the numbers from going even higher.

After several days of watching the numbers multiply, the Biden administration moved to control the political damage of the shantytown, and began deporting some Haitians to their native country; however, most of them had been living and working in Brazil and Chile for years, and fled to Mexico instead of risking deportation.

But an even larger number of the illegal aliens were rewarded for their efforts and appear to have been paroled into the United States. Thousands more continue to wait in the shrinking encampment.

Todd Bensman, the Center’s senior national security fellow, has spent the week in Del Rio and across the Rio Grande in Mexico talking with migrants to understand why they came to Del Rio and why now. In this week’s episode of Parsing Immigration Policy, he answers both of those questions and describes the situation on the ground.

In the closing commentary, Mark Krikorian, the Center’s executive director and host of Parsing Immigration Policy, discusses the budget reconciliation bill and the Senate Parliamentarian’s decision to reject the inclusion of the Democrats’ mass amnesty for upwards of eight million aliens who are illegally present in the United States.


Mark Krikorian is the Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies.


Todd Bensman, Senior National Security Fellow of the Center for Immigration Studies

Related Reports

Where are Del Rio’s Haitians Going?

Biden Administration's Air Deportations to Haiti Send Some Fleeing Back to Mexico

Why the Huge Illegal Alien Camp Formed in Del Rio

A New Beachhead Opens in the Biden Border Crisis


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Intro Montage

Voices in the opening montage:

  • Sen. Barack Obama at a 2005 press conference.
  • Sen. John McCain in a 2010 election ad.
  • President Lyndon Johnson, upon signing the 1965 Immigration Act.
  • Booker T. Washington, reading in 1908 from his 1895 Atlanta Exposition speech.
  • Laraine Newman as a "Conehead" on SNL in 1977.
  • Hillary Clinton in a 2003 radio interview.
  • Cesar Chavez in a 1974 interview.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking to reporters in 2019.
  • Prof. George Borjas in a 2016 C-SPAN appearance.
  • Sen. Jeff Sessions in 2008 comments on the Senate floor.
  • Charlton Heston in "Planet of the Apes".