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Biden urged to end Haitian border expulsions, Mexico detains migrants By Reuters


© Reuters. Haitian migrants get off an aiport bus after U.S. authorities flew them out of a Texas border city where thousands of mostly Haitians had gathered under a bridge after crossing the Rio Grande river from Mexico, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti September 20, 2021

By Daina Beth Solomon

CIUDAD ACUNA, Mexico (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden faced pressure on Tuesday to halt the expulsion of asylum seekers to Haiti from a Texas border camp, as worries about their safety compounded disquiet at images of officials on horseback using reins as whips against migrants.

Since Sunday, some 100 people were sent to Haiti by the Del Rio Camp, Texas. Thousands more have been moved into U.S. detention for processing and more flights are due to leave on Tuesday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer urged fellow Democrat Biden to put an immediate end to the expulsions, adding to similar calls from several United Nations agencies

Schumer stated that sending Haitians home to Haiti, which has been rocked by rising violence from gangs and chaos due to a recent presidential assassination “defies commonsense.”

He said that it also “defies common sense,” and called recent images of U.S. border officers using horses reins as whips, which were taken by him in the last days, “completely unacceptable.”

These images are a sham. This must stop.

It is now a flashpoint for President Obama, who already has to deal with record-breaking numbers of immigrants crossing the Rio Grande.

At the weekend, 14,000 people lived in this camp. However, that number has decreased over time.

Some migrants who had crossed over from Mexico in recent years to receive food were also being held by Mexican authorities.

Witnesses who looked like they were from Haiti were detained by Mexican agents and the National Guard in Ciudad Acuna, just across the river.

One encounter saw several migrants shout and protest as they were boarded by agents into a van belonging to the National Immigration Institute (INM). INM has not yet responded to inquiries for comment.

Mayorkas also condemned the clashes on the border, insisting that migrants be moved from the camp in order to fly to Haiti.

CNN reported that Mayorkas stated that 4,000 Haitians were expelled from the camp. Mayorkas did not say if everyone would be expelled, but he stated that at least four flights were planned for Tuesday.


Despite the risk of being returned to Haiti after sometimes years-long journeys through Latin America to reach the United States, the hope of being let in meant many migrants remain in the camp.

Carly Pierre (40), said that he was in the U.S. camp to try and get into the country after he had spent many years in Brazil.

He said that there were deportees and people who would make it in, his shorts still wet from crossing the Rio to purchase soda and ice at the Mexican convenience store.

Despite the outcry over mistreatment and anger in Del Rio about the camp, Mayorkas emphasized that U.S. border agents were delivering medical attention and were working with the Red Cross.

After a few hundred people gathered under blankets and cardboard in Ciudad Acuna to provide relief for the migrants, residents also helped.

Jessica de la Garza (22) organized an online drive for donations on Facebook (NASDAQ.) Early Tuesday, she distributed coffee, milk, sandwich, yogurt, butter, chocolate, eggs, baby diapers and water.

Because we’re helping, they say, “Thank you Mexico.” It is overwhelming, but so is our empathy.