The Biden administration has stepped up deportation efforts at the US-Mexico border, returning thousands of migrants who had gathered on the Del Rio Bridge in Texas.
An estimated 10,000 migrants are still awaiting treatment, including many Haitians fleeing violence and economic ruin after the assassination of the country’s president in July and a major earthquake in August that destroyed more than 100,000 houses.
There are growing humanitarian concerns, with migrants sleeping amid growing garbage piles, and videos appearing to show border patrol agents using whips to push migrants back near the bridge. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the scenes “deeply disturbing”, while former President Donald Trump said the border crisis suggested the United States was becoming a “third world nation”.
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Homeland Security Secretary “Horrified” Vows to Investigate Border Patrol Video
Responding to footage on Tuesday apparently showing US Border Patrol agents rounding up migrants on horseback, Alejandro Mayorkas said he was “horrified” and did not want to “lessen the humanitarian problem this presents” while s ‘also committing to expel illegal migrants.
An investigation is being conducted by the Office of Professional Accountability, which said it will deploy full-time staff to monitor the situation at Del Rio.
Mayorkas said yesterday he expects a “dramatic change” in the number of migrants next week as the removal process continues.
WHOLE STORY : Department of Defense helps deport Haitian migrants from Texas border town
In case you missed it – key moments from Wednesday morning
Kamala Harris goes viral on Twitter after criticizing Border Patrol
A video of the vice president’s angry reaction to images of border patrol officers on horseback with reins to deal with migrants has been viewed more than a million times on the social media platform.
Harris made the comments after a video and photographs were released of equestrian agents chasing Haitian migrants along the Rio Grande and trying to prevent them from returning to a camp under the Del Rio International Bridge.
DHS data shows shocking increase in apprehensions, admissions and deportations at the US border
Figures from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) show that there were over 200,000 “encounters” with migrants and refugees at the southwest land border in July and August, compared to well under 100,000. in 2019.
DHS defines “encounters” as the detention of illegal migrants, the number of people who are inadmissible to the United States, and the deportation of people to the United States for reasons of public health.
The total number this year has already reached more than 1.5 million, which is more than 50% more than in the same period in 2019.
Senior UN official says deportation of Haitians “incompatible” with international law
Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said he was “shocked” by “deplorable conditions” in Del Rio, Texas, where thousands of Haitians are waiting to attempt to enter the United States .
I was shocked at the images of the deplorable conditions under the concrete overpass of the highway in Del Rio, Texas, where more than 14,000 Haitians had gathered after arduous journeys from several countries in the Americas. The summary, the mass expulsions of individuals currently underway under the authority of Title 42, without consideration of protection needs, is incompatible with international standards and may constitute refoulement.
According to the UN, a now customary rule of international law is that “a refugee must not be returned to a country where he faces serious threats to his life or his freedom”.
Grandi pushed the Biden administration to “lift its Title 42 restrictions in effect since March 2020,” a controversial Trump-era rule “that continues to deny most people arriving at the Southwestern land border from United States any possibility of seeking asylum ”.
Why are so many people fleeing Haiti for the United States?
Thousands of families are fleeing after a series of political and natural disasters in the country.
In July, Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated and caused a collapse of government control, resulting in widespread violence, gang takeovers and economic turmoil.
Just weeks after the chaos began, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck the country and devastated many cities. The current death toll stands at over 2,000 people. More than 100,000 homes and many other buildings were destroyed, triggering a homeless crisis in already dangerous parts of the country.
As a result, thousands of people have fled to countries in South America – many of whom have chosen to seek asylum in Chile – but some have crossed the continent to the US-Mexico border, where they hope to seek refuge. .
Clashes between Haitian deportees and American officials
The first deportation flights from the United States to Haiti saw scuffles as dozens of deportees attempted to board the plane after it landed.
Dozens of people clashed with US authorities yesterday after a flight landed in Port-au-Prince, with a security guard closing the plane’s door to avoid a stampede of people on the plane.
The group included men and women from the second of four flights that arrived in the Haitian capital on Tuesday, some temporarily losing their belongings in the scuffle when police arrived.
Mexico halts border buses to prevent migrants from reaching U.S. cities
Roads in the state of Coahuila were interrupted and the US government closed the bridge connecting Ciudad Acuña and Del Rio yesterday, according to Luis Ángel Urraza, president of the local chamber of commerce.
He said the closure weighs on businesses in the region, who are waiting for the migrant population to drop enough for the bridge to be reopened again.
WHOLE STORY : Mexico suspends operation of some bus lines to prevent transport of migrants to border towns
Haitians freed in the United States on a “very, very large scale”
An anonymous official told The Associated Press that many Haitian migrants were released with notices to appear at an immigration office within 60 days. The result requires less processing time from border patrol officers than ordering an appearance in immigration court.
If the reports are proven, it would undermine the Biden administration’s claims that those camping in border towns would be immediately deported.
Newsweek has contacted the Department of Homeland Security for comment.
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