Thursday, October 28, 2021

Texas border crossing where migrants camp to reopen

US Customs and Border Protection said the Texas border crossing where thousands of Haitian migrants had gathered in recent weeks was set for a partial reopening on Saturday afternoon.

Federal and local officials said no migrants remained in temporary camps as of Friday, as nearly 15,000 people were expelled from the country and many others allowed to remain in the US, at least temporarily, because They were trying to take refuge.

Business and travel operations were to resume at the Del Rio Port of Entry for passenger traffic at 4 p.m. Saturday, officials said in a statement. It will be opened for freight traffic on Monday morning. The CBP temporarily closed the border between Del Río and Ciudad Acua, Mexico, on September 17, when migrants suddenly entered Del Río and made camp around the American side of the border bridge.

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CBP agents searched brush on the side of the Rio Grande on Saturday to make sure no one was hiding near the site. Del Rio Mayor Bruno Lozano said officials also wanted to make sure no other large group of migrants were making their way into the Del Rio area to try to set up a similar camp.

The Department of Homeland Security plans to continue flights to Haiti throughout the weekend, ignoring criticism from Democratic lawmakers and human rights groups who say Haitian migrants are being deported back to a troubled country that has been around for a decade. Abandoned a long time ago.

The number of people at the Del Rio camp peaked last Saturday as migrants fueled by confusion over the Biden administration’s policies and misinformation spread across the border on social media.

FILE – Crews clear an area used by migrants, many of whom are from Haiti, along the Del Rio International Bridge on September 24, 2021 in Del Rio, Texas.

The US and Mexico acted swiftly, appearing eager to end the humanitarian situation, which prompted the resignation of the US special envoy for Haiti and images of border agents forcibly barricading their horses and relocating migrants. There was widespread outrage when it came to the fore.

Citing security concerns and social unrest in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, many migrants face expulsion because they do not provide protection to the more than 100,000 Haitian immigrants already in the US by the Biden administration. . A devastating 2010 earthquake forced many people from their homeland.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Meyerkas said on Friday that nearly 2,000 Haitians were rapidly expelled on 17 flights since Sunday and that more could be expelled in the coming days under pandemic powers to help people seek refuge. refuse to give the chance.

The Trump administration implemented a policy called Title 42 in March 2020 to justify restrictive immigration policies in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The Biden administration has used it to justify the deportation of Haitian migrants.

Late last week a federal judge ruled that the rule was unfair and gave the government two weeks to stop it, but the Biden administration appealed.

Officials said the US State Department was in talks with Brazil and Chile to repatriate some Haitians who previously lived in those countries, but this is complicated because some of them no longer have legal status.

Mayerkas said the US has allowed about 12,400 migrants to enter the country, at least temporarily, while they claim before an immigration judge to stay in the country under asylum laws or for any other legal reason. Huh. They may eventually be rejected and removed.

Meyerkas said about 5,000 were in DHS custody and were being processed to determine whether they would be expelled or allowed to press their claim for legal residency. Some returned to Mexico.

A US official with direct knowledge of the situation said seven flights were scheduled for Saturday and six on Sunday, although this was subject to change. The officer was not authorized to speak publicly.

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