The options for thousands of Haitian migrants crossing the Mexico-Texas border were narrowed Tuesday as the United States increased expulsion flights to Haiti and Mexico began busing some people away.
Many migrants angry about being deported to Haiti attempted to rush back to the plane that landed in Port-au-Prince on Tuesday afternoon. They shouted at authorities. As some deportees started throwing rocks and shoes at it, a security guard shut the plane’s door. As police arrived, several of the deportees lost their belongings. The group was disembarking on one of the three scheduled flights for the day.
Officials in the United States said Monday that more than 6000 Haitians and other migrants were removed from an camp at Del Rio, Texas. They defended their strong response, which included exiling migrants to their poor Caribbean country. However, they faced criticism for using horse patrols as a way to prevent them from entering the town.
Some Haitian migrants were able to return to Mexico after this, while others struggled with deciding which side to cross.
Jean Claudio Charles, 34 years old, and his wife, Jean Claudio Charles (1 year) were stretching at dawn Tuesday morning after having slept on cardboard in a park near the river. They had joined 300 other Mexicans who returned to Mexico from the U.S., some fearing deportation, and others due to a lack food.
Charles stated that he was not willing to leave the area which is slowly becoming a camp on the Mexican side for fear of arrests.
He said, “They are grabbing people. They bother us, especially Haitians, because they identify ourselves by skin.”
But there are still thousands of campers in Texas. Republican Texas Governor. Greg Abbott, Republican Texas Governor, visited Del Rio on Tuesday. He said that the top county official had told him that the latest tally included 8,600 migrants still in the area. He continued to criticize the Biden administration, and expressed doubt that the area would soon be cleared.
Abbott stated that they have not shown any ability to handle all the migrants within the week. Abbott stated that the only thing they’ve shown is incapability to deal with this crisis. We are here to tell it it exists, it is total chaos, and that the Biden administration needs to step up their game.
According to three sources familiar with the matter, approximately six dozen U.S. Bureau of Prisons officers were present Tuesday near Del Rio. According to people familiar with the matter, the officers help U.S. Customs and Border Protection transport migrants on Bureau of Prisons buses from Del Rio bridge to detention centers. They could not speak publicly about the matter and spoke to the AP under condition of anonymity.
Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, acknowledged Monday that it was “challenging” and “heartbreaking,” but he warned: “If your family has illegally entered the United States, they will return you.” You will be putting your life, and that of your family, at risk.
Marcelo Ebrard from Mexico, the Foreign Relations Secretary, stated Tuesday that he had talked to his American counterpart, Secretary Antony Blinken about the situation of the Haitians. Ebrard stated that most Haitians had already been granted refugee status in Chile and Brazil, and were not seeking it in Mexico.
Ebrard stated that they want to be allowed to travel freely from Mexico to the United States.
According to two Mexican federal officials, Mexico has also started flying and busing migrants to Ciudad Acuna from southern Mexico in an effort to ease pressure along that border.
According to one official, three buses carrying migrants left Acuna Tuesday morning in search of Piedras Negras (about 55 miles (90 km) further down the border. From there, they boarded a flight towards Villahermosa, the southernmost city of Tabasco.
Another official stated that there was a Monday flight from Monterrey, the northern city, to Tapachula, the southern city near the Guatemala border. Tapachula houses the largest Latin American immigrant detention facility. About 100 migrants were on board the flight, who were picked up at the Monterrey bus station. This is a hub for several routes north to the U.S. border.
According to the second official, the plan was for all Haitians to be moved to Tapachula. Tapachula is the place where most of them would have applied. They can legally stay in Mexico until their case is processed.
According to the official, the first flight to Haiti will be made by the Mexican government to those Haitian migrants already in Mexico’s detention centres and who have not asked for asylum.
Mayorkas and Chief Raul Ortiz of the U.S. Border Patrol said Monday that they would investigate agents on horseback who used what appeared to be whips with their horses to push back migrants at Acuna-Del Rio, a city of approximately 35,000 people located 145 miles (230 km) west of San Antonio, where thousands remain camped near a bridge.
Later Monday, the Department of Homeland Security released a statement describing the footage as “extremely troubling” while promising an investigation that would “define appropriate disciplinary actions to take.”
Mayorkas stated that 600 Homeland Security personnel, including Coast Guard employees, were brought to Del Rio. Mayorkas stated that he had asked the Defense Department to assist in one of the largest, most rapid expulsions of refugees and migrants from the United States in decades.
He said that the U.S. would increase flight capacity to Haiti and other countries in this hemisphere. According to Brandon Judd (president of the National Border Patrol Council), a labor union representing agents, the number of migrants crossing the bridge reached 14,872 on Saturday.
A pandemic related authority, which was adopted by former President Donald Trump on March 2020, allowed for rapid expulsions. This allows migrants to be removed immediately from the country and not have to apply for asylum. The order was exempted by President Joe Biden, but the rest of the order was not.
All Haitians who are not expelled are subjected to immigration laws. These include the right to asylum and other forms humanitarian protection. Because children are not usually held by the government, families are often released quickly in the U.S.
Many Haitians are migrating to America from South America over the past several years. Many of them fled their Caribbean homeland after the devastating 2010 earthquake. Many fled their homeland to seek work after the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. They travelled by foot, bus, and car to the U.S. border.
Some migrants in the Del Rio camp claimed that the recent destructive earthquake in Haiti and the assassination attempt on President Jovenel Moise have made them nervous about returning to a country that is more unstable than they were when they left.
Jean Philipe Samus, a Haitian immigrant, said that “it’s not right.” “The Americans are taking Haitians and deporting them all to Haiti. Haiti doesn’t have a president, jobs or anything. Many people were killed in the earthquake. It’s not right there. I’m going to Mexico.”
Mayorkas, however, defended his decision to grant Haitians temporary legal standing due to civil and political strife in Haiti if they arrived in the United States on August 29, but not to those who are being sent back now.
He stated, “Based on the country’s conditions, we concluded that Haiti could actually receive people safely.”