Joe Biden’s government plans on Sunday to launch a plan to speed up the deportations of thousands of Haitians after the massive arrival of more than 14,000 migrants to south Texas, according to anonymous sources quoted by local media. The strategy of the Democratic Government, combined with the Haitian authorities, could consist, according to these sources, in sending migrants back to their country of origin in several daily flights. The US Department of Homeland Security said on Saturday that 2,000 people who were in the Texan city of Del Rio have already been transferred awaiting their possible expulsion from the United States.
A huge caravan of Latin Americans and Caribbeans, made up mainly of Haitians, but which also includes Venezuelans, Cubans and Nicaraguans, crossed on Thursday from Mexico to the United States. The 14,353 migrants are trapped in a makeshift, gigantic camp under the Del Río International Bridge, waiting to be identified individually by authorities, said local mayor Bruno Lozano. This Monday, 400 customs agents should arrive at the site to expedite the process.
“DHS will provide additional transportation to speed up the pace and increase the capacity of pick-up flights [retorno] to Haiti and other destinations in the hemisphere within the next 72 hours,” said Marsha Espinosa, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security, to The Washington Post. “We reiterate that our borders are not open and that people must not make this dangerous journey,” he added. In August, the US detained nearly 209,000 immigrants, down 2% from July, but still at levels unheard of since 2000, according to the Customs and Border Protection service.
Haitian authorities have said they are willing to accept at least three flights a day, but Washington wants to increase that frequency. Some officials familiar with the situation told local media, anonymously, that the intention is to send up to eight flights a day, although the figure varies depending on the source. Each plane usually carries up to 120 people.
Chaos in Del Río, a city of 35,000 that is in a state of emergency because of the migration crisis, forced US authorities on Friday to temporarily close traffic to all vehicles and pedestrians at the only border crossing in the location. This Saturday, with access once again open, dozens of migrants were seen crossing the Rio Grande towards Mexico, where they went to get supplies, and then returned to the USA.
The Democratic Administration has been expelling irregular immigrants under the rule known as Article 42, an exception in the health law that allows deportation. the hot of undocumented foreigners and asylum seekers. Donald Trump first invoked it in March 2020, with the justification of the pandemic. The Biden government renewed the measure last August, but on Thursday a judge ordered the White House to repeal it within two weeks at most, considering it unnecessary to contain the coronavirus in the current pandemic scenario. The Executive appealed the decision.
“It will take the Haitian government months, if not years, to be able to safely receive its citizens,” read a letter signed this week by 50 Democratic lawmakers who urged Biden to halt deportations of Haitians. The Caribbean country is recovering from an earthquake that left more than 2,000 dead and thousands injured last month, as well as going through a political crisis that escalated in early July, when President Jovenel Moïse was murdered in his home in his sleep.
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