US

Pastor tells how he offers aid to over 400 migrants EVERY NIGHT on the riverbank of Roma, Texas

A Texas church pastor has given DailyMail.com an astonishing insight into the flood of migrants now pouring into the United States over the Rio Grande from Mexico.

Luis Silva revealed he has personally seen more than 100,000 enter the country over just one small section of the river, which is down a sandy track from the small border community of Roma.

Every night he stands on the riverbank offering water and other humanitarian aid to upwards of 400 people taken across in flimsy inflatable rafts by the smugglers, called coyotes.

But while he battles to help those who land confused and desperate, he blames one man for the situation. Father Luis said: ‘This is Joe Biden‘s making. It is not an emergency, it is a crisis we have here now. The problem is Uncle Joe.

‘This has escalated enormously since the beginning of February and it’s getting worse.’

Pastor Luis Silva (pictured) tells DailyMail.com he has personally seen more than 100,000 migrants enter the country over just one small section of the Rio Grande river in Roma, Texas

In Roma, Texas,  there is an official crossing point to Mexico on a bridge over the Rio Grande. Mexicans cannot currently cross it to the U.S.

Father Luis spoke out as DailyMail.com witnessed another night of mass crossings at the relatively narrow section of the Rio Grande. A coyote is seen ringing in migrants on a raft

Father Luis spoke out as DailyMail.com witnessed another night of mass crossings at the relatively narrow section of the Rio Grande. A coyote is seen ringing in migrants on a raft 

Every night Father Luis stands on the riverbank offering water and other humanitarian aid to upwards of 400 people taken across in flimsy inflatable rafts by the smugglers, called coyotes, pictured bringing in migrants

Every night Father Luis stands on the riverbank offering water and other humanitarian aid to upwards of 400 people taken across in flimsy inflatable rafts by the smugglers, called coyotes, pictured bringing in migrants

At 8.15pm, the first dinghy of the night made its way across the swirling water. It took less than a few minutes to reach the other bank, where a Texas State Trooper was waiting for it. A coyote is pictured bringing in migrants

At 8.15pm, the first dinghy of the night made its way across the swirling water. It took less than a few minutes to reach the other bank, where a Texas State Trooper was waiting for it. A coyote is pictured bringing in migrants 

Father Luis said he asks migrants why they are now coming in larger numbers. He said: 'They tell me it is down to feeling welcomed by the current president'

Father Luis said he asks migrants why they are now coming in larger numbers. He said: ‘They tell me it is down to feeling welcomed by the current president’ 

In Roma, there is an official crossing point to Mexico on a bridge over the Rio Grande. Mexicans cannot currently cross it to the US.

Father Luis said: ‘Biden has said that the official border crossing here is closed to Mexico.

‘But in reality, the border is not closed. It is open and it is open by crossing the river on a raft. You have the whole world coming in here.’

He spoke out as DailyMail.com witnessed another night of mass crossings at the relatively narrow section of the Rio Grande.

At one point, a Texas State Trooper on duty to gather up the migrants, angrily confronted one of the coyotes after the boat unloaded.

He waded into the water, grabbed the dinghy and the pair tussled for a second – before the trooper pulled out his knife and stabbed the vessel, which collapsed.

The cursing coyote was left to swim back to the Mexican bank, hauling the deflated boat behind him.

Father Luis was in his usual position, helping those who come ashore.

He said: ‘Just last night there were 400 people coming over at this point. The night before it was around 200. We will have to see what tonight brings. 

He added: ‘Every night I come and provide them with water. It had got to the state now where I ask immigration officers if they have any idea how many will arrive, so I can bring enough.’

Father Luis said : 'Every night I come and provide them with water. It had got to the state now where I ask immigration officers if they have any idea how many will arrive, so I can bring enough'

Father Luis said : ‘Every night I come and provide them with water. It had got to the state now where I ask immigration officers if they have any idea how many will arrive, so I can bring enough’

He waded into the water, grabbed the dinghy and the pair tussled for a second - before the trooper pulled out his knife and stabbed the vessel, which collapsed

He waded into the water, grabbed the dinghy and the pair tussled for a second – before the trooper pulled out his knife and stabbed the vessel, which collapsed

Most of those currently making the journey are from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua. But incredibly, some from Iran, the former Soviet republic of Uzbekistan and Yemen have also been smuggled across, said Father Luis

Most of those currently making the journey are from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua. But incredibly, some from Iran, the former Soviet republic of Uzbekistan and Yemen have also been smuggled across, said Father Luis 

Everywhere on the river bank, colored wristbands litter the ground along with small children's shoes, toys and discarded life vests

Everywhere on the river bank, colored wristbands litter the ground along with small children’s shoes, toys and discarded life vests

Cartels demand up to $9,000 to smuggle an unaccompanied child across the border. Adults can pay as much as $6,000.

But they can get up to three attempts for the money.

Everywhere on the river bank, colored wristbands litter the ground along with small children’s shoes, toys and discarded life vests.

Father Luis said: ‘The smuggling operation runs like a theme park with those wristbands.

‘The bands are given to the migrants by the people smugglers to prove they have paid for their passage across the river. It’s like a permission to ride.

‘The cartels give them three or sometimes four chances to come over for their fee. If they don’t get over first time, they get another shot for their money. If the US authorities throw you back to Mexico, you still have more chances to get in. It’s not one ride and that’s it.’

He added: ‘The bands are all different colors and they correspond to the different sections of the river where they cross.

‘Those sections belong to certain gangs on the Mexican side. It is highly organized, nothing is random. It’s like an orange band for one part, red for another. The different colors will also land in slightly different parts of the river on the US side.’

Most of those currently making the journey are from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua. But incredibly, some from Iran, the former Soviet republic of Uzbekistan and Yemen have also been smuggled across, said Father Luis.

He added: ‘I returned home late one night and a woman was on my door step. She told me in English she was from Iran. I called the police and she gave them an Iranian passport as ID. She had crossed the Rio Grande that night.

Father Luis said he asks migrants why they are now coming in larger numbers. He said: ‘They tell me it is down to feeling welcomed by the current president.

‘I say, well there is a legal front door you could try to come in by. But you are jumping through the window and that’s why the American people are upset.’

Women and other children followed up to a holding area beside the river. Fifteen minutes later another boat appeared in the twilight, this one crammed with at least 12 people, most of them young children

Women and other children followed up to a holding area beside the river. Fifteen minutes later another boat appeared in the twilight, this one crammed with at least 12 people, most of them young children

Father Luis estimates the flotilla of dinghies crossing each night contain at least 70 per cent children

Father Luis estimates the flotilla of dinghies crossing each night contain at least 70 per cent children

As the evening light faded, we saw groups of people gathering together in the wooded area on the Mexican side. Suddenly a light would go on to help them navigate the pathway to their loading positions. Just as quickly it would be extinguished

As the evening light faded, we saw groups of people gathering together in the wooded area on the Mexican side. Suddenly a light would go on to help them navigate the pathway to their loading positions. Just as quickly it would be extinguished

Father Luis says, 'But it is no exaggeration to say that since early 2019, I have helped more than 100,000 migrants who have come over the Rio Grande just at Roma. It sounds and incredible figure, but that's what I've calculated'

Father Luis says, ‘But it is no exaggeration to say that since early 2019, I have helped more than 100,000 migrants who have come over the Rio Grande just at Roma. It sounds and incredible figure, but that’s what I’ve calculated’

Father Luis estimates the flotilla of dinghies crossing each night contain at least 70 per cent children.

As the evening light faded, we saw groups of people gathering together in the wooded area on the Mexican side.

Suddenly a light would go on to help them navigate the pathway to their loading positions. Just as quickly it would be extinguished.

At 8.15pm, the first dinghy of the night made its way across the swirling water. It took less than a few minutes to reach the other bank, where a Texas State Trooper was waiting for it.

Halfway along the track from the river to the main road, Customs and Border Protection vehicles were parked up as the first stage of the processing procedure for those who would step off the boat.

As the dinghy approached the US side, a man at the front clutching a young boy prepared to get off and scramble up the bank.

Alberto Ramos, 39, from Guatemala carried his two-year-old son for his first steps in the United States.

He told DailyMail.com: ‘I came to America because this is the country that is giving migrant children security.

‘Where I come from, gangs are killing children. I had to find a safe place for my son and I pray that I have found it.’

Women and other children followed up to a holding area beside the river. Fifteen minutes later another boat appeared in the twilight, this one crammed with at least 12 people, most of them young children.

'This is Joe Biden's making. It is not an emergency, it is a crisis we have here now. The problem is Uncle Joe,' he says. 'This has escalated enormously since the beginning of February and it's getting worse'

‘This is Joe Biden’s making. It is not an emergency, it is a crisis we have here now. The problem is Uncle Joe,’ he says. ‘This has escalated enormously since the beginning of February and it’s getting worse’

As they stumbled off and were directed by the state trooper, one woman yelled in Spanish: ‘Where are you taking us, where are you taking us?’

Just two state troopers were dealing with the arrivals directly on the riverbank.

But while there has been criticism of officials being too welcoming, this night the mood appeared different.

After the boat knifing, other coyotes were reluctant to land their human cargo if one of the troopers was nearby.

Some heavily-laden boats approached within just a few feet of the shore then headed back to the Mexican side.

At one point a trooper shouted to one coyote: ‘Come on, get the kids in.’ The smuggler appeared indecisive. The trooper yelled again ‘get them in’. Almost brushing the bank, the boat veered away as the smuggler turned his flimsy oar and set off back for the Mexican side.

By now a large group of migrants, mainly women and children clutching meagre belongings, were corralled together in the darkness at a holding location on the riverbank. They were compliant and docile.

The group was eventually led up the track in to start processing. At the main improvised Customs and Border Protection location at the top of the track, officers awaited their latest batch of human cargo.

One said: ‘This is relentless. Frankly, we could do with a quiet night’. 


Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button