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Migrants flown out of Texas border city after thousands cross Rio Grande By Reuters


© Reuters. A U.S. Coast Guard aircraft is seen at Del Rio International Airport, as U.S. authorities speed up the removal of migrants along Mexico’s border. Del Rio, Texas (U.S.A), September 19, 2021. REUTERS/Marco Bello


By Daina Beth Solomon and Alexandra Ulmer

DEL RIO, Texas/CIUDAD ACUNA, Mexico (Reuters) – U.S. authorities flew migrants out of a Texas border city on Sunday where thousands of mostly Haitians had gathered under a bridge after crossing the Rio Grande river from Mexico.

Reuters reporters saw a white bus escorted to the Del Rio airport by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, (CBP), agents. Then they boarded a Coast Guard plane. According to a police source, the migrants were being transported by CBP agents. A source who is familiar with operations at airports said that the plane was headed for El Paso (Texas).

Witness at the Border, which tracks U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE, NYSE:)) flights told Reuters that there were three departing Texas flights on Sunday. One was from Laredo and the second two from San Antonio. They carried Haitians back to Haiti.

ICE spokespersons did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on Saturday that it was accelerating expulsions to Haiti, sending more CBP agents to the area, and other steps to address the humanitarian and political challenge posed by thousands of people sheltering in increasingly squalid conditions under the bridge that links Del Rio with Ciudad Acuña in Mexico.

Officials from both sides claimed that the majority of migrants are from Haiti.

Reuters reported that there were 12 law enforcement officials on both sides of the U.S. border, many riding horses. A Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) helicopter circled overhead, and yellow tape reading “sheriff’s line do not cross” was strung up.

Jean Agenord from Haiti, Makarena Vines (Chilean wife) and their 17 month-old son were prevented from crossing the border on Sunday.

Agenord, who was still immersed in water and resting on his arms, said to Reuters that his family hadn’t spent any money.

He said, “I cannot cross here. I can’t pass there.” “What are I going to accomplish?”

They asked the locals if they had any suggestions for a hotel in Mexico.

On the Mexico side, the embankment was littered with take-out containers and water bottles. This is a sign of many who crossed the river to the United States in order to receive immigration processing. On Sunday, migrants were unable to cross the river into Mexico in order to purchase supplies for the camp.


Reuters could not approach the area where Del Rio Mayor Bruno Lozano said in a video on Saturday night that just over 14,000 migrants were camping.

Eddyson Langlais (a Haitian migrant) told Reuters via text on Sunday that “the access to the river is blocked”. “Yesterday evening they gave water, and provided a snack. I don’t know for today.”

Many Haitians interviewed at the border claimed they fled their unstable homeland to settle in South America. The reason they moved north was that they couldn’t obtain legal status, struggled with racism, and were unable to secure decent work.

DHS stated that the agency would speed up migrant flight to Haiti over the coming 72 hours. It said U.S. authorities had moved some 2,000 people from Del Rio to other U.S. immigration processing stations on Friday and would continue that shifting of migrants “to ensure that irregular migrants are swiftly taken into custody, processed, and removed from the United States consistent with our laws and policy.”

DHS said it would continue to work with the countries from which the migrants arrived – many were Haitians who came to the United States via Brazil or Chile.

Witness at the Border founder Cartwright expressed concern over the possibility of returning the migrants from Haiti. The president of the poor nation was assassinated in July. In August, a devastating earthquake and massive storm struck the country. Cartwright stated that COVID-19 also causes concern.

He said that Haiti did not have an effective health system before the earthquake. The fact that people have been sent home, even if they’ve not yet been tested, is a concern.

Title 42 was a comprehensive U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public order. This title, which was signed by Trump’s administration during the coronavirus outbreak, allowed most migrants to be swiftly expelled and denied asylum. Although President Joe Biden kept the rule in effect, he did not exempt unaccompanied minors from it and has not yet been able to expeil most families.

Although Thursday’s decision was upheld by a judge, it is still not valid for families. The ruling will not take effect until two weeks later and has been appealed by the Biden administration.

Most migrants are able to surrender at the border in order to seek asylum. However, this can trigger a long legal process. Trump’s administration reduced protections and argued that many asylum claims were fraudulent.

Around 150,000 Haitians living in the United States received temporary relief from Biden earlier this year. This protected them against deportation. This relief is not available to newly arrived persons. The expulsion process is quicker than deportation.