Del Rio, Texas – Thousands of Haitian migrants gather under and around a bridge in a small border town in Texas, as the Biden administration tries to manage a large number of asylum seekers on US soil Friday. presented a new chaotic challenge.
Haitians crossed the Rio Grande in a free and steady stream, crossing knee-deep waters between the United States and Mexico, with some parents carrying young children on their shoulders. Unable to buy supplies in the United States, they temporarily returned to Mexico in search of food and cardboard, and at least temporarily, the 35,000 city of Del Rio, which has been greatly affected by the influx of immigrants in recent months. has been stressful. Nestled under or near a bridge.
Val Verde County Judge Luis Owens said Friday that the majority of the estimated 12,000 migrants on the bridge were Haitians, who were elected in the county’s highest elections and are under the jurisdiction of Del Rio. Some families have been under the bridge for six days.
According to Owens, some migrants have built cave-like shelters in the reeds along the river. He said the litter was 10 feet wide and gave birth to at least two women, including a woman who tested positive for COVID-19 after being taken to the hospital.
Haitians have migrated from South America to the United States in large numbers for many years, many of them leaving the Caribbean after the devastating 2010 earthquake. Many took the risk after work ended at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Trek through the jungles of Panama, including the infamous Darren Gap, to the US border by foot, bus, or car.
Despite the fact that many Haitians wait to meet in camps on the Mexican side of the border, including Tijuana across San Diego, to decide whether to enter the United States, which of these are unknown. How quickly did they gather?
The US Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to requests for comment. “We will act accordingly,” Homeland Security Alejandro Mallorcas told MSNBC.
Some of the Haitians in the camp have lived for some time in a Mexican city on the border with the United States and are on the move frequently during their arrival in Mexico after being trapped near the southern border with Guatemala. Some have done so, said Nicole Phillips, director of legal affairs at the Haitian Bridge Alliance. .. Frustration spread after the Biden administration ended its daily practice of accepting asylum-seeking migrants who were considered particularly vulnerable.
“People are panicking about how they want evacuations,” Phillips said.
Edgar Rodriguez, attorney for the Casa del Migrante immigration shelter in Piedras Negras, north of del Rio, noticed that a few weeks ago there had been an increase in the number of Haitians in the area, partly due to misinformation. I think there is a possibility. Immigrants often judge on false rumors that policies are about to change and enforcement policies vary from city to city.
US officials were rigorously tested after President Joe Biden swiftly ended policies of the Trump administration, which Biden deemed cruel or inhumane. Such immigrants face extreme violence in Mexico and have great difficulty finding lawyers.
Mexico must agree to the terms, but the US Supreme Court last month upheld the judge’s order to revive the policy. The Justice Department said in a court filing this week that talks were underway with the Mexican government.
The epidemiological order introduced in March 2020 to immediately evacuate migrants without the opportunity to seek refuge is valid, but exempts unaccompanied children and many families. Biden opted to exempt children traveling alone for humanitarian reasons for the first month after taking office.
The US government has been unable to expel many Central American families because Mexican authorities have refused to admit families to Tamaulipas, the busiest corridor of illegal crossings facing the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. Was. On Thursday, a federal judge in Washington barred the administration from applying Title 42 to any family as the pandemic-related authority is known.
Mexico has agreed to take only families deported from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. The United States is opening its doors to Haiti and people of other nationalities who have been detained and quickly expelled on flights to their hometowns because of a lack of resources.
August, US official Immigrants stopped at the border about 209,000 times. Despite several outages involving repeated crossings, this was a nearly 20-year high, as being deported under the authority of Title 42 had no legal effect.
Family Crossers were stopped 86,487 times in August, but less than one-fifth of them were removed under Title 42. The rest were processed under immigration law. That is, usually they were released on court dates or notices. Report to the Bureau of Immigration.
US officials suspended Haitians 7,580 times in August. It is increasing every month as it has closed only 55 times in August 2020. Other nationalities have also increased significantly, in addition to Ecuador, Venezuela and the other traditional sending countries of Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras. and El Salvador.
Spaget reported from San Diego. Associated Press writers Paul Weber of Austin, Ben Fox of Washington and Maria Verza of Mexico City contributed to this report.
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