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Thousands of Haitian migrants being FREED into the US and NOT deported

Thousands of illegal migrants from Haiti are being released into America on a ‘very, very large scale’ and NOT being flown home as Biden promised: Only 500 have been deported since Sunday

  • Two US officials said thousands have been released into the US with notices to appear at an immigration court in 60 days’ time
  • Others have been sent on buses and planes to other parts of the US to be processed there, they said
  • The reality on the ground is drastically at odds with the public statements from the Biden administration 
  • The official line is that migrants are being expelled from the US back to the Haiti on deportation flights 
  • DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas insisted Tuesday the borders are now ‘closed’ to migrants 

Thousands of Haitian migrants are being freed into the US on a ‘very, very large scale’ rather than being flown out on deportation flights as the Biden administration promised, according to officials.

Two US officials with knowledge of the situation in Del Rio – where around 15,000 mostly Haitian migrants were camped out under a bridge at the weekend after crossing into the US from Mexico – said thousands have been released into the US with notices to appear at an immigration court in 60 days’ time. 

Others have been sent on buses and planes to other parts of the US to be processed by Border Patrol agents there, they said. 

This purported reality on the ground is drastically at odds with the public statements the Biden administration has made in recent days in an effort to get a handle on the ever-increasing migrant crisis at the US’s southern border. 

The official line is that Haitians are being expelled from the US back to the crisis-stricken Caribbean nation under a Donald Trump-era rule.

Under Title 42, migrants can be repatriated to their home nations without the possibility of requesting asylum due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas insisted Monday that migrants entering the US illegally will be sent back to their home countries. 

‘If you come to the United States illegally, you will be returned, your journey will not succeed, and you will be endangering your life and your family’s life,’ he said at a press conference.

Mayorkas then went one step further Tuesday, insisting that the border is now ‘closed’ to migrants. 

Many of the thousands of migrants who have gathered in Del Rio in recent days fled Haiti after the 2010 earthquake and have been living in South American countries including Brazil and Chile. But since these nations have been ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, many Haitians have traveled up through South America and Mexico to seek asylum in the US.

Thousands of migrants take shelter along the Del Rio International Bridge at sunset as they await to be processed by Border Patrol agents 

A migrant walks past a pile of garbage at the camp under the Del Rio bridge in Texas on the US-Mexico border Tuesday night

A Haitian girl is seen Tuesday under the bridge which was turned into a makeshift to house the thousands of migrants

A bus to transport migrants to other parts of the US for processing is seen by the Del Rio bridge in Texas Tuesday night

Haitians deported from the US recover their belongings scattered on the tarmac of the Toussaint Louverture airport in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Tuesday

Migrants are guided by Border Patrol agents as they prepare to board a bus from the migrant camp in Del Rio to be taken to other parts of the US for processing 

One US official, with direct knowledge of operations who was not authorized to discuss the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity, told Associated Press thousands of Haitians had been freed on a ‘very, very large scale’ in recent days.

Many have been released with notices to appear at an immigration office within 60 days, an outcome that requires less processing time from Border Patrol agents than ordering an appearance in immigration court and points to the speed at which authorities are moving, the official said.

The Homeland Security Department has been busing Haitians from Del Rio to El Paso, Laredo and Rio Grande Valley along the Texas border, and this week added flights to Tucson, Arizona, the official said. 

They are then processed by the Border Patrol at those locations.

A second US official, also with direct knowledge and speaking on the condition of anonymity, said large numbers of Haitians were being processed under immigration laws and not being placed on expulsion flights to Haiti that started Sunday. The official couldn’t be more specific about how many. 

US authorities scrambled in recent days for buses to Tucson but resorted to flights when they couldn’t find enough transportation contractors, both officials said. 

Coast Guard planes also took Haitians from Del Rio to El Paso.

A third US official not authorized to discuss operations said there were seven daily flights to Haiti planned starting Wednesday.

Deportation flights to Haiti resumed Sunday with around 1,000 migrants put on planes back to the island nation since then, according to the Today show.

And yet the numbers at the makeshift camp under the Del Rio International Bridge have shrunk by more than 6,000 since the weekend. 

At its peak, around 15,000 migrants seeking asylum were thought to be under the bridge in the town of roughly 35,000 people. 

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said, during a visit Tuesday to Del Rio, that the county’s top official told him the most recent tally stood at about 8,600 migrants.  

A tiny little girl camps out with her father under a makeshift tent at the camp under the Texas bridge overnight Tuesday 

Thousands of Haitian migrants are being freed into the US on a ‘very, very large scale’ rather than being flown out on deportation flights as the Biden administration promised, according to officials

Migrant children play under the bridge Tuesday night as they await processing to be granted asylum – or be deported to Haiti

Illuminated by the lights of a National Guard vehicle, immigrants walk through the migrant camp next to the border

Around 15,000 mostly Haitian migrants were camped out under the bridge at the weekend after crossing into the US

Two US officials with knowledge of the situation in Del Rio said thousands of migrants have been released into the US with notices to appear at an immigration court in 60 days’ time

Other migrants have been sent on buses and planes to other parts of the US to be processed by Border Patrol agents there

Migrants sleep on the ground under the bridge at the makeshift camp in Del Rio, Texas Tuesday night near the US border

Bonheur Delva said authorities expected that 14,000 Haitians would be deported from the US over the next three weeks.   

The criteria for deciding who is flown to Haiti and who is released in the US was unclear, but two US officials said single adults were the priority for expulsion flights.

The Homeland Security Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment late Tuesday night. 

Joe Biden has come under fire from both sides of the political aisle over the situation in Del Rio.

Republicans blame him for the surge in Haitians crossing into the US after his administration put deportation flights on pause for Haitians following the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in the country last month. 

They argue that this led Haitians to believe they would get asylum. 

Democrats, meanwhile, are slamming Biden for resuming deportation flights sending people back to a nation that is unable to take them.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer demanded the Biden administration stop the flights and cease using Title 42 on the Senate floor Tuesday saying it defies ‘common decency’. 

Migrants – mostly from Haiti – have been camping out under the bridge after crossing from Mexico into the US

An aerial image shows the camp under Del Rio International Bride near the Rio Grande river in Texas, where the US connects to Mexico

Thousands of Haitian migrants are seen in the makeshift camp under the Del Rio bridge in Texas Tuesday awaiting processing

Migrants are seen camped out under the bridge Tuesday where around 14,000 people were said to be staying at the weekend

Last Thursday, a federal judge blocked the Biden administration from using Title 42 to expel migrant families but the order takes 14 days to take effect and the administration appealed the ruling the next day. 

This week, further outrage surfaced after images went viral of Border Patrol agents on horseback appearing to whip migrants with horse reins. 

One video shows agents on horseback, waiting on the US side of the Rio Grande as migrants – some of them families with young children – wade through chest-deep waters trying to cross. 

Officers appear to charge their horses toward the migrants carrying food and supplies, some swinging their reins, with one clip appearing to show a horse being used to push a migrant back into the water.

In one photo, a mounted agent appears to be grabbing a migrant by the shirt as he tries to flee.  

Thousands of Haitian migrants are being freed into the US on a ‘very, very large scale’ rather than being flown out on deportation flights as the Biden administration promised, according to officials

Two US officials with knowledge of the situation in Del Rio said thousands have been released into the US with notices to appear at an immigration court in 60 days’ time

Migrants, many from Haiti, are seen at an encampment along the Del Rio International Bridge near the Rio Grande Tuesday

One migrant crosses the river carrying a suitcase from Del Rio, Texas, to return to Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, Monday 

Meanwhile, Mexico has begun busing and flying Haitian migrants away from the US border, authorities said Tuesday, signaling a new level of support for the US as the camp presented Biden with a humanitarian and increasingly political challenge.

Mexico has helped at key moments before. It intensified patrols to stop unaccompanied Central American children from reaching the Texas border in 2014, allowed tens of thousands of asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico for hearings in US immigration courts in 2019 and, just last month, began deporting Central American migrants to Guatemala after the Biden administration flew them to southern Mexico.

Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s foreign relations secretary, said Tuesday he had spoken with his U.S. counterpart, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, about the Haitians’ situation. 

Ebrard said most of the Haitians already had refugee status in Chile or Brazil and weren’t seeking it in Mexico.

‘What they are asking for is to be allowed to pass freely through Mexico to the United States,’ Ebrard said.

Two Mexican federal officials, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly, confirmed Mexico’s actions.

A Border Patrol officer is swinging what appears to be a lariat while trying to stop Haitian migrants from entering an encampment on the banks of the Rio Grande near the Acuna Del Rio International Bridge Sunday

The devastating images were captures as migrants were trying to return to their encampment from Mexico, where they were buying much-needed supplies

An agent is seen grabbing a migrant by the shirt in a photo taken near the border Sunday 

One of the officials said three busloads of migrants left Acuña on Tuesday morning for Piedras Negras, about 55 miles (90 kilometers) down the border, where they boarded a flight to the southern city of Villahermosa in the state of Tabasco.

The other official said there was a flight Monday from the northern city of Monterrey to the southern city of Tapachula near the Guatemala border. 

Tapachula is home to the largest immigrant detention center in Latin America. 

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas insisted Tuesday the borders are now ‘closed’ to migrants

The flight carried about 100 migrants who had been picked up around the bus station in Monterrey, a hub for various routes north to the U.S. border.

The second official said the plan was to move to Tapachula all Haitians who already solicited asylum in Mexico.

The Haitian migrants who are already in Mexico’s detention centers and have not requested asylum will be the first to be flown directly to Haiti once Mexico begins those flights, according to the official.

Around Ciudad Acuña, Mexican authorities were stepping up efforts to move migrants away from the border. There were detentions overnight by immigration agents and raids on hotels known to house migrants.

‘All of a sudden they knocked on the door and (yelled) ‘immigration,’ ‘police,’ as if they were looking for drug traffickers,’ said Freddy Registre, a 37-year-old Venezuelan staying at one hotel with his Haitian wife, Vedette Dollard. The couple was surprised at midnight.

Authorities took four people plus others who were outside the hotel, he said. ‘They took our telephones to investigate and took us to the immigration offices, took our photos,’ Registre said.

They were held overnight but finally were given their phones back and released. Authorities gave them two options: leave Mexico or return to Tapachula.

On Tuesday afternoon, they decided to leave town. They bought tickets for a bus ride to the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, planning to continue to Tapachula where they had already applied for asylum.

Others left without being told. Small groups arrived at Ciudad Acuña´s bus station to buy tickets to Veracruz, Monterrey and Mexico City. 

The same bus lines prohibited from selling them tickets for rides north through Mexico, sold them tickets to head south without issue.

In Haiti, dozens of migrants upset about being deported from the US tried to rush back into a plane that landed Tuesday afternoon in Port-au-Prince as they yelled at authorities. 

A security guard closed the plane door in time as some deportees began throwing rocks and shoes at the plane. Several of them lost their belongings in the scuffle as police arrived. 

The group was disembarking from one of three flights scheduled for the day.

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