Texas border crossing where migrants made camp to reopen
The Texas border crossing where thousands of Haitian migrants converged in recent weeks will be partially reopened late Saturday afternoon, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said.
After some 15,000 migrants fled the country, federal and local officials confirmed that no migrants were still at the temporary encampment on Friday. Many others are allowed to stay in the U.S. temporarily while they seek asylum.
Officials stated that trade and passenger traffic would be resumed at Del Rio Port of Entry at 4 pm Saturday. The port will reopen for cargo traffic Monday morning. CBP temporarily closed the border crossing between Del Rio and Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, on Sept. 17 after the migrants suddenly crossed into Del Rio and made camp around the U.S. side of the border bridge.
CBP agents searched the Rio Grande brush Saturday to make sure that nobody was hiding close by the location. Bruno Lozano said the mayor of Del Rio also wants to ensure that no migrants are making their way through the area in search of a camp like the one set up by Lozano.
The Department of Homeland Security plans to keep flying to Haiti through the weekend. This ignores criticisms from Democratic legislators and human rights organizations who claim that Haitian migrants are being returned to a country where they fled more than 10 years ago.
Last Saturday saw the largest number of people in the Del Rio camp as migrants, confused by the policies and misinformation posted on social media, converged at border crossing.
Mexico and the U.S. worked quickly to resolve the humanitarian crisis that led to the departure of the U.S. special representative to Haiti. There was widespread anger after photos emerged showing border agents riding their horses in order to forcefully move and block migrants.
Many of these migrants are at risk of being expelled because they don’t have the protections that the Biden administration recently extended to over 100,000 Haitian migrants. The Biden administration cited security concerns as well as social unrest in Western Hemisphere country, which is the least developed. Many migrants fled their home country after the devastating 2010 earthquake.
Alejandro Mayorkas from the Department of Homeland Security stated that about 2000 Haitians have been evacuated by 17 planes since Sunday. Additional flights could take place in the next few days as pandemic power denies people asylum.
Title 42 policy was adopted by the Trump administration in March 2020 as a justification for restrictive immigration policies. It has been used by the Biden administration to justify deportation for Haitian migrants.
Late last week, a federal judge ruled the rule unconstitutional and gave the government two days to stop the action. But the Biden administration appealed.
Officials stated that the U.S. State Department was in negotiations with Brazil, Chile and Chile in order to permit some Haitians who had previously lived in these countries to return. But it’s difficult because many of them don’t have legal status in Chile or Brazil.
Mayorkas claimed that approximately 12400 migrants have been allowed to enter the United States, even temporarily. They will then make claims to be allowed to remain under asylum laws, or any other legal grounds, before being denied entry. The U.S. could eventually deny them and they may be removed.
Mayorkas stated that approximately 5,000 people are currently in DHS custody. This process will determine if they will be allowed to claim legal residency or if they will be expulsed. Some of them returned to Mexico.
According to a U.S. official, seven flights to Haiti were planned on Saturday. Six more would be scheduled on Sunday. However, this was not confirmed. Official was not allowed to make public statements.
On Saturday, no migrants left the Mexican border camp. Local authorities had moved the last migrants to a walled, roof-less facility in downtown Ciudad Acuña where the Mexican immigration agency put some tents.
Felipe Basulto the municipal secretary stated that the shelter held 240 migrants as of Saturday morning. Mexican officials have been transporting migrants via land and air from the southern part of Mexico and were planning to fly some to Haiti within the next few days.
Mexico’s International Organization for Migration (UNM) released late Friday a statement stating that they are looking for places where Haitians can reside or their children hold citizenship to allow deportation to Haiti.
Luxon, 31, a Haitian immigrant, withheld his name from fear. He was heading for Mexicali with his family, approximately 900 miles (1.450 km) west of Mexico’s border to California.
He stated that he had the option to travel to Mexico where there were few people, and that he could request legal documents in Mexico.
On Friday, migrants arrived at Val Verde Border Humanitarian Coalition (Del Rio) and walked off of a van belonging to Border Patrol. Many were happy that they had been allowed entry into the U.S. Some carried sleeping babies. Wrapped in silver heat blankets, a toddler followed her mother.
In his attempt to find a friend, the man drove almost 1,300 miles (2.092 km) from Toledo.