Mexican law enforcement officers started dismantling portions of a migrant encampment in Reynosa under the cover of night, according to sources and a video shared with The Monitor.
A bystander captured video of law enforcement officers around 1 a.m. Friday walking around the plaza a block away from the Reynosa-Hidalgo International Bridge where up to 5,000 migrants are living in tents.
In the same video, a voice is heard narrating that the officers were taking down the gas tanks that are used in the plaza to cook food.
The activity happened just hours after a U.S. federal appellate court refused late Thursday to delay implementing a judge’s order to reinstate a Trump administration policy that forces thousands to wait in Mexico while seeking asylum in the U.S.
Pastor Hector Silva, the executive director for Senda de Vida, Reynosa’s largest migrant shelter, confirmed the news of the camp Friday morning.
Silva said a kitchen was donated at the encampment that relied on gas tanks to cook food. He also said electrical cords used to charge phones were also seized.
About 5,000 migrants were living in the plaza. Many of them were expelled under a U.S. public health code known as Title 42. The camp sprung up in April when only a few hundred stayed in the Mexican border city hoping for a chance to enter into the U.S. and request asylum.
Without the ability to cook or charge their phones, a displacement of thousands of migrants is expected to follow.
Currently, Senda de Vida is in the midst of a sizable expansion that’s proven challenging after the city threatened to demolish it. Construction was allowed to continue after a lawsuit provided temporary relief.
Silva said the construction is underway and still some time away from completion. The pastor said he’s working with other nongovernmental organizations to find a way to provide temporary relief for those who may become displaced by Friday night’s activities.
This story is developing.