US steps up deportation of Haitian refugees from camp in Texas

U.S. Immigration Updates

The Biden administration is stepping up efforts to expel Haitians who have gathered by the thousands in the Texas border town of Del Rio.

The Ministry of Homeland Security announcement this weekend, it would “step up the pace and increase the capacity” of flights to Haiti after about 14,000 people gathered under a city bridge.

Joe Biden has been accused by conservatives of overseeing a migration crisis on the US-Mexico border. But the US president is also under fire from many Democrats, who have called the deportation policy “cruel and callous”.

The Department of Homeland Security said in a statement on Saturday: “Our borders are not open and people should not be making the dangerous journey. Individuals and families are subject to border restrictions, including deportation.

“Irregular migration poses a significant threat to the health and well-being of border communities and to the lives of migrants themselves, and should not be attempted. “

Migrants have been arriving in Del Rio, a border town of 35,000 inhabitants, for several days. Bruno Lozano, mayor of the municipality, said saturday there were now 14,534 people camped under a bridge away from the 40-degree heat while their cases were processed by the US border patrol.

Many, but not all, came from Haiti, who suffered a devastating earthquake last month and is now in political turmoil following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse. The country’s economic growth has almost slowed down and inflation is expected to exceed 20% this year.

The latest arrivals from Haiti have added to the already high number of people trying to cross the Mexican border into the United States, in part because of the economic crises triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic. Border patrol officers say they have more than 200,000 encounters with migrants each month, four times more than a year ago.

The numbers have drawn criticism from conservatives that the president has lost control of the situation on the Mexican border, an issue that former President Donald Trump campaigned on in last year’s election. .

Ted Cruz, Republican Senator from Texas, last week accused Biden to oversee “a humanitarian catastrophe. . . a public health disaster. . .[and]a disaster for national security ”.

Last month, the Biden administration extended a public health rule that allows authorities to deny anyone crossing the border from Mexico to the United States, regardless of status.

Over the weekend, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency completely closed the Del Rio port of entry as authorities struggled to cope with the flow of people. And on Saturday, the federal government announced a new round of measures to deal with the numbers.

In addition to increasing the number of eviction thefts, the Department of Homeland Security said it would be deploy 400 additional border protection officers, move migrants away from Del Rio for treatment elsewhere, work with other countries in the region to take people back and provide clean water and toilets to those in the camp .

But Democrats have raised concerns about deportation flights, given the multiple crises many migrants are fleeing. More than 50 Democrats wrote to the Department of Homeland Security on Friday urging them to stop the thefts altogether.

Ayanna Pressley, one of those who signed the letter, said: “The Biden administration cannot claim that it is doing everything in its power to support the Haitian community while continuing to unfairly deport Haitians as the island goes through its worst political, public health and economic crises to date. . “

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