On Saturday, the Biden administration worked on a plan to send thousands of Haitian migrants from a border city in Texas back to their homeland in the Caribbean, swiftly rushing to a large influx of people suddenly crossing the border from Mexico. It corresponded. And around the bridge.
Details have not yet been finalized, but officials who are directly aware of the plan said they were not allowed to discuss the issue publicly and spoke to the Associated Press under the following terms: Anonymous. San Antonio, the closest major city to the immigrants of Del Rio, could be one of the departure cities.
Officials said Friday that flight capacity and Haiti’s willingness would determine the number of flights, but “good progress” was seen.
Another official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he expected at most two flights a day and that all migrants would be tested for COVID-19.
U.S. officials present Del Rio’s only border crossing on Friday after presenting new urgent challenges to the government as the chaotic influx of immigrants seeks to control the large number of asylum seekers arriving. US soil that closed traffic to vehicles and pedestrians in both directions.
The US Customs and Border Protection said it would close the border crossing with Ciudad Real Madrid in Mexico “to meet urgent security and security needs.” Travelers were guided to an Eagle Pass intersection 57 miles (91 km) away.
Haitians on Friday crossed the Rio Grande river freely and in a stable stream, traversing deep-knee water between the United States and Mexico, with some parents carrying small children on their shoulders. .. Unable to buy supplies in the United States, they temporarily returned to Mexico in search of food and cardboard, and at least temporarily, the 35,000 city of Del Rio, which has been terribly tense due to the flow of immigrants in recent months. Settled under or near the bridge.
Immigrants set up tents and built temporary shelters from giant reeds known as caliso wands. Many people bathed and washed their clothes in the river.
The majority of migrants on the bridge on Friday were Haitians, said Luis Owens, a Val Verde County judge whose jurisdiction includes Del Rio, the official elected in the county’s highest elections. Some families stayed under the bridge for six days.
According to Owens, the trash pile is 10 feet wide and at least two women have given birth after being taken to the hospital, including a COVID-19-positive woman.
County sheriff Frank Joe Martinez estimated the crowd at 13,700 and said more Haitians were traveling to Mexico by bus.
The flight plan is potentially large, but it depends on the Haitian response. They may have to decide whether to continue to be at risk of being sent back to their poor hometown, which is plagued by poverty and political instability, or to return to Mexico. Unaccompanied children are exempt from fast track expulsion.
The state government said in a news release on Friday that about 500 Haitians had been ordered to get off the bus by the Mexican immigration authorities in Tamaulipas, about 120 miles (200 kilometers) south of the Texas border. They walked towards the border.
Haitians have migrated from South America to the United States in large numbers for several years, and many have left the Caribbean after the 2010 catastrophic earthquake. Many people went on dangerous trekking after work was exhausted at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Walk, bus or drive to the US border through the infamous Darien Gap, Panama’s jungle.
Despite the fact that many Haitians are waiting to meet in camps on the Mexican side of the border, including Tijuana across San Diego, to decide whether to enter the United States, which of these many are It is unknown how quickly they gathered.
The US Department of Homeland Security did not respond to requests for comment. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mallorcas said at MSNBC on Friday that he would “take action accordingly.”
Officials in President Joe Biden’s administration, who were not allowed to address the issue publicly and spoke anonymously, said their actions were not specifically targeted at Haitians and did not reflect policy shifts. He said it reflected the continuation of normal practice.
The Federal Aviation Administration, which acts at the request of border guards, typically bans operations below 1,000 feet (305 meters) unless for security or law enforcement purposes, around the bridge until September 30. Restricted drone flight.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican who frequently criticizes President Joe Biden, said federal officials said immigrants under the bridge were moved by the Department of Defense elsewhere on the California-Arizona-Texas border. Said that.
Some Haitians in the camp have lived in Mexican cities along the border with the United States for some time and are moving frequently, while arriving after being stuck near the southern border with Guatemala, Mexico. Some have done so, said Nicole Phillips, director of legal affairs at the Haitian Bridge Alliance. .. Hopelessness spread after the Biden administration ended its daily practice of accepting asylum-seeking migrants, who were considered particularly vulnerable.
“People are panicking about how they seek evacuation,” Phillips said.
Edgar Rodriguez, a lawyer for the Casa del Migrante immigration shelter in Piedras Negras, north of Del Rio, noticed an increase in Haitians in the area a few weeks ago, partly due to misinformation. I think it may have happened. Immigrants often make decisions about false rumors that policies are about to change and enforcement policies vary from city to city.
US authorities have been rigorously tested after Biden’s rapid dismantling of the Trump administration’s policies, which Biden considered cruel or inhumane. Such immigrants are exposed to extreme violence in Mexico and face great difficulty in finding lawyers.
Mexico must agree to the terms, but the US Supreme Court last month upheld the judge’s order to revive the policy. The Justice Department said in a court filed this week that talks with the Mexican government were underway.
The pandemic-related order introduced in March 2020 to expel migrants immediately without the opportunity to seek asylum remains valid, but unaccompanied children and many families are exempt. Biden chose to exempt children traveling alone for humanitarian reasons for the first month after taking office.
The U.S. government is unable to expel many Central American families as Mexican authorities have largely refused to accept families in Tamaulipas, opposite the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, the busiest corridor at illegal crossings. was. On Friday, the administration said it would appeal Thursday’s decision of a judge who prevented it from applying Title 42 to all families, as is known for pandemic-related authorities.
Mexico has agreed to take only families exiled from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. The United States is opening its doors to people of Haiti and other nationalities due to lack of resources to detain them and expel them quickly on flights to their hometowns.
In August, US officials stopped immigrants nearly 200,000 times at the border. This was nearly 20 years high, despite many outages involving repeated crossings, as there was no legal impact if exiled under the authority of Title 42.
Family crossers were stopped 86,487 times in August, but less than one-fifth of those encounters were banished under title 42. The rest was processed under immigration law.