Undeterred plans for Haitian migrants on the Texas-Mexico border to expel them – CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

Del Rio, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Texas Haiti immigrants, still upset by the August earthquake and the assassination of the president in July, say they will not be thwarted by plans to send them back to their home countries.

Thousands of people have made dangerous trips to the United States to escape poverty, hunger and hopelessness, and continue to camp on the Texas border even after leaving Mexico.

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Dozens of people traverse the Rio Grande on Saturday afternoon, return to Mexico to buy water, food and diapers in Ciudad Akunya, and then under the bridge in the border city of Del Rio and in the nearby Texas camp. I returned to.

Jr. Jean, a 32-year-old man from Haiti, saw people carefully carrying bags of water and food through the waters of a knee-high river. Jean said he had lived on the streets of Chile for the past four years and resigned from looking for food in the trash.

“We all want a better life,” he said.

The Department of Homeland Security said Saturday that it could move about 2,000 migrants from camp to another location on Friday for processing and removal from the United States. Further if necessary.

The announcement provided a quick response to the sudden arrival of Haitians in the Texas city of Del Rio, about 35,000 people, about 145 miles west of San Antonio. It is located on a relatively distant border that lacks the ability to hold and handle such a large number of people.

U.S. officials told The Associated Press on Friday that the U.S. is likely to fly immigrants abroad on five to eight flights a day starting Sunday, but another official expected less than two flights a day. All said they would be tested for COVID-19. First officials said flight capacity and willingness to accept Haiti flights determine the number of flights. Both officials were not allowed to discuss the issue publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Regarding the US plan on Saturday, several immigrants said they would still stay in the camp and seek asylum. Some have said that the recent catastrophic earthquake in Haiti and the assassination of President Jovenel Moise are afraid to return to a country that looks more volatile than they were when they left.

“Haiti is not safe,” said Fabricio Jean, a 38-year-old Haiti who arrived with his wife and two daughters. “The country is in a political crisis.”

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. After work depletion at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics, many trekked to the US border by foot, bus or car, including via the infamous Darien Gap in Panama’s jungle.

Jorge Luis Mora Castillo, 48, from Cuba, said he arrived in Akuna on Saturday and plans to travel to the United States. The country of America where they lived for four years.

Castillo spoke of a US message that discourages immigrants and said he wouldn’t change his mind.

“Because returning to Cuba is dying,” he said.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection blocked bidirectional vehicle and pedestrian traffic on Friday at the only border crossing between Del Rio and Ciudad Akunya “to meet urgent safety and security needs,” Saturday. Remained closed. Travelers were indefinitely guided to the Eagle Pass intersection, approximately 55 miles (90 km) away.

Crowd estimates varied, but Mayor Del Rio Bruno Rosano said Saturday night there were 14,534 immigrants in the camp under the bridge. Immigrants set up tents and built makeshift shelters from giant reeds known as caliso wands. Many people bathed and washed their clothes in the river.

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How quickly such a large number of people gathered, even though many Haitians gathered in camps on the Mexican side of the border and waited to decide whether to attempt to enter the United States. Is unknown.

Haitian arrivals began to reach unsustainable levels for the Del Rio border guard about two and a half weeks ago, according to U.S. officials not authorized to discuss, to Robert Garcia, the authority’s deputy director. I urged headquarters to ask for help. The problem is public.

Since then, agencies have transferred Haitians by bus and van to other border guard facilities in Texas, especially El Paso, Laredo and the Lower Rio Grande Valley. They are primarily handled outside the pandemic authorities. That is, they can claim asylum and stay in the United States while their claims are taken into account. The US Immigration and Customs Department decides on custody, but families are generally not allowed to be detained for more than 20 days under court order.

Homeland Security plans were announced on Saturday, indicating a shift to the use of pandemic-related powers for immediate exile to Haiti without the opportunity to claim asylum, officials said.

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.

“Our borders are not open and people should not make dangerous journeys,” the DHS said.

“Individuals and families are subject to border restrictions, including expulsion,” the authorities wrote. “Illegal immigrants pose a significant threat to the health and well-being of border areas and to the lives of migrants themselves and should not be attempted.”

US officials have been rigorously tested after Democratic President Joe Biden swiftly dismantled the Trump administration’s policies, which Biden considered cruel or inhumane.

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.

Nicole Phillips, director of legal affairs at the Haitian Bridge Alliance, said Saturday that the US government should allow immigrants to apply for asylum rather than rush to expel them.

“It’s really a humanitarian crisis,” said Philips. “Now there needs a lot of help.”

Mexico’s Immigration Bureau said in a statement on Saturday that Mexico began a “permanent dialogue” with representatives of the Haitian government, “the irregular flow of migrants entering and passing through Mexico and their support. We will deal with the situation of the return. “

The agency does not identify whether it refers to the Haitians of Ciudad Real Madrid or the other thousands of tapachulas on the Guatemalan border, and the agency does not immediately respond to requests for details. It was.

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 pandemic authorities.

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Undeterred plans for Haitian migrants on the Texas-Mexico border to expel them – CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

Source link Undeterred plans for Haitian migrants on the Texas-Mexico border to expel them – CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

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