U.S. begins removing Haitian migrants, but they continue to flock to Texas border

DEL RIO, Texas —

A week after Haitian migrant Junior Desterville, 30, and his family had made it all the way from Chile to the burgeoning migrant camp here on the U.S. banks of the Rio Grande, the shaggy-haired mechanic set back out to the Mexican side early Sunday to buy food for his hungry wife and 4-year-old daughter, Nayalla. By noon, Desterville was dressed in a blue T shirt and black shorts to make it back to Ciudad Acuna. This was as Mexican police and Texas troopers tried to stop hundreds of migrants from crossing the river.

Haitian migrants use a dam to cross into the U.S.

Haitian migrants use a dam to cross into the United States and from the U.S. into Mexico on Saturday in Del Rio, Texas.

(Eric Gay / Associated Press

After making his way through a crowd of hundreds, he came across his wife Stephanie in one of the many huts made from carrizo cane. They crossed into the United States and then to Mexico on Saturday. They have slept on the dirt inside the hut since making their way to this hot, chaotic camp of an estimated 14,000 migrants after a three-month slog, mainly by bus, through Chile, Central America and Mexico.

Desterville stated that he cannot imagine returning to Haiti.

“We don’t even have a president or security,” Desterville said in reference to the recent assassination and catastrophic earthquake.

“Let us get out of here,” said Stephanie, 24. “We are hungry

For many, crossing the Rio Grande may mean a one-way flight back to troubled Haiti.

The Associated Press reported that the Biden administration fulfilled its promise to send Haitian migrants living in Del Rio back home. According to an American government official, three flights of migrants were returned by the U.S. from the camp. The number of flights will increase to six per day in the near future, the official said.

The planes left from San Antonio, the AP reported, and arrived Sunday afternoon in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, each carrying 145 passengers.

Families on the first flight carried their children or held them by the hands as they left. Many people gathered to share a meal of rice and beans with their families, while they pondered where they would live or work. Each was given $100 and tested for COVID-19, though there was no plan to place any in quarantine, said Marie-Lourde Jean-Charles with the Office of National Migration.

Haitian migrants use a dam.

Haitian migrants use a dam to cross into the United States and from the U.S. into Mexico, as well as bathe and do laundry, on Saturday in Del Rio, Texas.

(Eric Gay / Associated Press

On Saturday, a large number buses arrived in Del Rio to transport more migrants to the United States.

Some 3,300 migrants have already been removed from the Del Rio camp to planes or detention centers, Border Patrol Chief Raul L. Ortiz said at a news conference Sunday, and he expected to have 3,000 of approximately 12,600 additional migrants moved within a day. He stated that the rest of the migrants should be gone by next week.

” We are working round the clock to move migrants quickly from the heat, elements and under this bridge to our processing plants in order to process and remove individuals from America consistent with our laws.” Ortiz stated.

Despite the U.S.’s efforts to stop them, it appeared that more Haitian migrants were arriving at the border. Plan.

The influx at the border outpost 145 miles west of San Antonio has come since the U.S. temporarily halted expulsions to Haiti last month following a magnitude 7.2 earthquake, which struck a month after Haiti’s president was assassinated.

Nearly 28,000 Haitians have been intercepted by the Border Patrol for the fiscal year that ends this month, compared with 4,395 last fiscal year and 2,046 the year before. More were in camps in southern Mexico.

Del Rio Mayor Bruno “Ralphy” Lozano (Democrat) declared a local emergency Friday and said authorities would close the port of entry. He warned that with more migrants on the way, the camp was expected to reach 20,000. The city of 35,000 has already been the site of an anti-immigrant protest.

Haitian migrants have not pushed north into town, instead moving back and forth across the river to buy food and other supplies in Ciudad Acuna. U.S. officials tried to block access to Mexico late Saturday night, constricting migrants to the camp. The migrant camp residents and new arrivals continued to cross the shallows. The newest migrants turned themselves in to Border Patrol agents to receive blue numbers tickets that would enable them to claim asylum.

Desterville, whose number was 11,240, said that the Border Patrol separated migrants when they arrived, removing single people and leaving families to wait at the river.

Several of the camp dwellers were pregnant women, including at least one who gave birth after crossing into the U.S., was taken to the hospital and then returned to the camp. On Sunday, a woman fell in front of National Guard troops who approached her and carried her away.

Zareal German, 45, who has spent four days at the camp with his wife, who is five months pregnant, said he and other migrants have been denied medical help. He said that only emergencies were taken to the hospital.

“They don’t care much about us,” German stated. “Look at how we live like animals He said that he heard about deportation flights but that they wouldn’t deter him.

“It does not change my mind. He said that he had one goal in mind. “To get to my destination.” He said that he had family in South Florida where his father died recently and that he was hoping to get there in time for Saturday’s funeral.

“To get here, we had to cross 10 countries. It was expensive. You become broke,” said Alex Bravener, 25, who lived in Chile and Brazil before arriving here with his wife and 3-year-old daughter last week. We know we came here illegally but we are still human, just like the president. He said, “We have children.” “If you are going to deport our children, why did we allow them in here?” Try to help us if we are already there. The world knows that we have lost our president. We had our earthquakes.

” You deport us, but what will you do in Haiti? Some of us have lived in another country for many years. Some of us don’t even know the family back home. We don’t know where we are going to live. We know America can help us to save our children.”

Haitian migrants use a makeshift shelter along the Rio Grande.

Haitian migrants use a makeshift shelter along the Rio Grande after crossing into the United States from Mexico on Friday in Del Rio, Texas.

(Eric Gay / Associated Press)

Haitians have been exempted at times from the pandemic policy known as Title 42 that the Biden administration has used to expel migrants back to Mexico without allowing them to claim asylum. In recent months, many of the Haitian migrants gathered at Mexican border cities in southeast of Del Rio after learning that Mexican families were not expelled from Mexico.

Homeland Security announced Saturday it was speeding up expulsion flights. However, it was unclear how many daily flights Haitian authorities would receive. Officials from the federal government were also trying to return some Haitians back to their countries of origin, including Brazil and Chile.

Republicans have complained of a crisis on the border for months. In August, the Border Patrol stopped migrants nearly 209,000 times, close to a 20-year high. Texas Governor. Greg Abbott made Del Rio the focal point of a campaign for tighter border security. He sent scores of troopers and National Guard troops to the area, and they even set up tent camps at the fairgrounds.

Abbott tweeted Saturday a picture of state troopers blocking migrants along the river.

The Texas Department of Public Safety is in full force along the border around the Del Rio area. They have constructed a barricade using their state troopers and squad cars. The National Guard is working alongside them to secure the border.

@TxDPS @TexasGuard pic.twitter.com/U2XR9qgZce

— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) September 18, 2021

“The Texas Department of Public Safety is in full force along the border around the Del Rio area,” he wrote. “They have constructed a barricade using their state troopers and squad cars. The National Guard is working with them to secure the border.”

The Del Rio mayor thanked Abbott for the deployment in a video posted late Saturday.

The governor wants to assist in securing the port and to prevent mass movements, in case anyone or any individual decides to flock to the port.” Lozano stated.

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