Thousands of migrants gathering at the US-Mexico border
CHICAGO - Thousands of migrants are gathering at the U.S. border with Mexico, hoping to get into the country.
Border Patrol agents say they have been overwhelmed by the sheer number of migrants wading across the Rio Grande River.
Video recorded at the border shows thousands of mostly Haitian migrants crossing into the U.S. many apparently left their island homes by boat long ago, crossing the Caribbean Sea to Central or South America, and then walking north to the Rio Grande.
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An estimated 12,000 Haitians were reported in makeshift shelters under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas, where they were being barred from purchasing anything.
They were seen bathing and washing clothes in the river. Many were seen returning to Mexico to get food and other supplies, then re-entering the U.S., some leading new groups of migrants to the bridge.
The chaotic scene included barely adequate sanitary facilities and growing heaps garbage.
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Many of the Haitians, whose country has been wracked by an earthquake and a political coup, say they plan to apply for refugee status.
Immigration judges in recent years have rejected 80% of such applications by Haitians.