The Texas county overwhelmed by as many as 30,000 illegal immigrants in recent weeks plans to file a joint lawsuit with other cities against the Biden administration over its handling of the border crisis.
Elected officials in Val Verde County voted unanimously Tuesday to take legal action against the Biden administration in a bid to force lawmakers to take action over record-high illegal border crossings.
The county oversees the border city of Del Rio, where tens of thousands of mostly Haitian migrants set up a squalid encampment under the Del Rio International Bridge this month after streaming across the US border via the Rio Grande.
The Val Verde commissioners agreed to unite with other counties along the border to file a joint lawsuit that challenges Biden’s immigration policies.
It wasn’t immediately clear when the county would be filing the lawsuit.
The Del Rio camp was finally cleared out last Friday, but at one point it contained as many as 30,000 migrants.
Val Verde County Commissioner Beau Nettleton, who is leading the charge with the lawsuit, said he was “sick and tired” of the ongoing immigration crisis.
“We’ve talked about immigration reform for as long as I can remember. Both parties have had control of Washington at one point or another over the last 20 years, and we have failed to do anything about it other than create the mess that we have today,” he said during the meeting.
“It’s time that we get together with other counties and cities along the border and stand up and do something.”
Amid the Del Rio crisis, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas slammed the Biden administration’s own border agents in their handling of the ordeal after images emerged of them rounding of migrants on horseback.
Nettleton hit back, slamming officials in Washington for “vilifying law enforcement” and “making heroes out of criminals” – adding that it was “inexcusable and a disgrace to our country.”
Nettleton added that Val Verde and other border counties were being unfairly left to deal with the burden due to Washington’s incompetence.
“Fifty percent of the population of this city was sitting underneath our International Bridge – how is a town of this size, with our tax base, supposed to deal with that problem,” he said of the Del Rio bridge encampment.
“It is a complete failure of everything that is going on in Washington, for not just the last couple of years, but for many, many years.”
He added: “I am for people coming into this country legally. This is not a legal process. This is not the way to do it.”