The Federal Aviation Administration has placed a temporary flight restriction over the Texas bridge sheltering a mass of migrants along the southern border.
The two-week temporary flight restrictions, which Fox News reported late Thursday, bar news outlets from flying drones over the bridge to document the unprecedented surge of migrants. “The Border Patrol requested the temporary flight restriction due to drones interfering with law enforcement flights on the border,” the FAA said in a statement Thursday evening. “As with any temporary flight restriction, [the media are] able to call the FAA to make requests to operate in the area.”
The restrictions, which cover a two-nautical-mile radius, apply specifically to unmanned aircraft systems operating up to 1,000 feet above ground level, according to the FAA notice to airmen (NOTAM) published Thursday. The NOTAM does not restrict manned aircraft from operating in the area.
The number of migrants under the bridge more than doubled this week, reaching 9,145 people on Thursday, according to one law enforcement source. Most of the migrants are Haitian, but some Venezuelans and Cubans are also present.
Overwhelmed with the flood of migrants crossing the border, the Border Patrol says it has nowhere to shelter them. The bridge has become “a temporary staging site” to protect the unhoused migrants from the heat. Ted Cruz (S-TX) called the FAA ban “ridiculous.”