U.S. removes migrants from Texas border camp, begins flights to Haiti

, U.S. removes migrants from Texas border camp, begins flights to Haiti


DEL RIO, Texas/CIUDAD ACUÑA, Mexico, Sept 19 (Reuters) – U.S. border brokers started expelling plane-loads of largely Haitian migrants from a big makeshift camp that they had arrange after wading throughout the Rio Grande separating Mexico and the US, with repatriation flightsarriving in Haiti on Sunday.

The sprawling camp below the worldwide bridge attracted greater than 12,000 migrants at one level and marked a brand new problem for U.S. authorities, who’ve sought to cut back the movement of Central People and now a whole lot of Haitians who’ve fled rampant poverty, gang violence and seemingly continuous pure disasters again residence.

U.S. authorities have moved 3,300 migrants since Friday from Del Rio, Texas, and introduced a brand new every day schedule of flights to the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, the place some officers expressed concern on Sunday for a doubtlessly massive inflow of returning migrants within the subsequent few days.

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U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz advised a information convention in Del Rio, Texas, that over the subsequent week the federal government goals to “shortly” course of 12,662 migrants from beneath the bridge that hyperlinks Del Rio with Ciudad Acuña, Mexico.

“There isn’t any security in Haiti and there is no work,” mentioned Rolin Petit Homme, a 35-year previous Haitian who had camped out below the bridge, however says he’ll now attempt to eke out a residing in Mexico reasonably than return residence.

Afterward Sunday, the primary three flights arrived in Haiti carrying 327 returned migrants, in keeping with a U.S. official. Upon arrival, some mentioned they have been by no means advised the place they have been being taken.

Migrants have been persevering with to cross the river over the weekend regardless of heightened safety on the U.S. facet that included horse-mounted brokers, certainly one of whom charged his horse to dam migrants and swung what looked like a lariat at an individual making an attempt to climb up the U.S. embankment from the water.

No less than 100 Haitians, together with households with young children, crossed again into Mexico from below the bridge on Sunday night, gripping a yellow rope stretched throughout the river that had risen to chest degree.

Many carried backpacks and plastic baggage of belongings, and a number of other folks advised Reuters they deliberate to remain in Mexico for now as a result of they didn’t wish to be returned to Haiti.


Officers on each side of the border have mentioned many of the migrants have been from Haiti, the poorest nation within the Americas and arduous hit by disasters in recent times, together with a significant earthquake final month.

A U.S. Coast Guard airplane with migrants on board departs the Del Rio Worldwide Airport as U.S. authorities speed up removing of migrants at border with Mexico, in Del Rio, Texas, U.S., September 19, 2021. REUTERS/Marco Bello

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Many Haitians advised Reuters that they had been in South America, together with Brazil and Chile, earlier than deciding to go north as a result of they may not attain authorized standing or struggled with racism and touchdown jobs.

A bus escorted by U.S. border brokers entered the Del Rio airport earlier on Sunday, and a bunch might be seen boarding a Coast Guard aircraft. A police supply mentioned the folks have been migrants and a supply accustomed to airport operations mentioned the plane was heading to El Paso, Texas.

Alejandro Mayorkas, head of the U.S. Division of Homeland Safety (DHS), advised reporters on Sunday that the flights to Haiti had began earlier within the day and would proceed every day.

DHS beforehand mentioned it was accelerating repatriations to Haiti and sending extra border brokers to Del Rey, the place situations below the bridge have grown more and more squalid.


However in his temporary remarks, Mayorkas careworn that the Haitian authorities had “communicated fairly clearly to us its capability to obtain the flights” and mentioned the U.S. authorities is offering funding to Haiti to assist. He didn’t specify the quantity.

On Saturday, Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry mentioned “preparations have already been made” to receive those who were being returned to the Caribbean nation.

“We now have no alternative at this level however to extend repatriation flights,” mentioned Mayorkas, including that the flights would take migrants both to Haiti or “presumably different international locations.”

A Haitian immigration official, who was not licensed to talk to media, mentioned the nation was not ready for an inflow of presumably hundreds of returning migrants.

A sweeping U.S. public well being order often known as Title 42, issued below the Trump administration firstly of the pandemic, permits most migrants to be shortly expelled with out a likelihood to assert asylum.

President Joe Biden has saved that rule in place, though he exempted unaccompanied minors and his administration has not been expelling most households. Biden had promised a extra humane immigration strategy than that of his predecessor.

A U.S. choose dominated final week the coverage couldn’t be utilized to households, however the ruling doesn’t go into impact for 2 weeks and the Biden administration has appealed.

Sometimes, migrants can flip themselves in on the border and declare asylum, triggering an extended court docket course of. However the Trump administration whittled away at protections, arguing many asylum seekers didn’t qualify.

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Reporting by Daina Solomon in Ciudad Acuña and Alexandra Ulmer in Del Rio; Further reporting by David Alire Garcia, Maria Caspani, Kristina Cooke, Mica Rosenberg and Gessika Thomas; Enhancing by Donna Bryson, Daniel Wallis, Peter Cooney and Raju Gopalakrishnan

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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