U.S. begins flying Haitian migrants home from Texas – Boston, Massachusetts


Boston, Massachusetts 2021-09-19 13:04:00 –


US officials told The Associated Press that the three flights would depart San Antonio for Port-au-Prince and arrive in the afternoon.

Haiti immigrants gather on the banks of the Rio Grande after moving from Mexico to the United States. (AP Photo / Eric Gay) Associated Press

Del Rio, Texas (AP) — Some of the thousands of Haitian migrants from Mexico to the Texas border camp return to their poverty-stricken hometown by the United States on Sunday to prevent others from crossing the country. it was done.

US officials told The Associated Press that the three flights would depart San Antonio for Port-au-Prince and arrive in the afternoon. The person was not allowed to discuss the matter publicly, so officials spoke on condition of anonymity.

Many immigrants have lived in Latin America for years, but are now seeking asylum in the United States as economic opportunities in Brazil and elsewhere are depleted. Thousands of people live under and near the bridge in Texas’ border city of Del Rio, many of whom said they wouldn’t be deterred by US plans.

Some say they are afraid to return to a country that looks more volatile than they were when they left, due to the recent catastrophic earthquake in Haiti and the assassination of President Jovenel Moise.

“Haiti is not safe,” said Fabricio Jean, a 38-year-old Haiti who arrived in Texas with his wife and two daughters. “The country is in a political crisis.”

Dozens of people traversed the Rio Grande on Saturday and re-entered Mexico to buy water, food and diapers at Ciudad Akunya before returning to the Texas camp.

Jr. Jean, a 32-year-old man from Haiti, saw people carefully carrying bags of water and food through the waters of a knee-high river. Jean said he has lived on the streets of Chile for the past four years and has resigned from searching for food in the trash can.

“We all want a better life,” he said.

Haiti’s Prime Minister Ariel Henry wrote on Twitter on Sunday that migrants would be welcomed as he was concerned about the situation at the border camp.

“We want to reassure them that they have already taken steps to improve their welcome after returning home and will not be left behind,” he tweeted. Henry did not provide details about the measures. A Haitian government spokesman was not immediately asked for comment.

Another Haiti political leader asked on Sunday whether the country could handle the influx of returning migrants and said the government should stop repatriation.

“We are in a southern situation due to the earthquake. Election Minister Matthias Pierre added that most Haitians cannot meet their basic needs.” The Prime Minister deported them at this moment of the crisis. Should be negotiated with the US government to stop. “

The US Department of Homeland Security said on Saturday that it had moved about 2,000 migrants from the camp to another location for treatment and possible removal. A statement from the authorities also said that by Monday morning, 400 agents and officers would be stationed in the area and more would be dispatched as needed.

The announcement provided a quick response to the sudden arrival of Haitians in the Texas city of Del Rio, about 35,000 people, about 145 miles (230 km) west of San Antonio. It is located on a relatively distant border that lacks the ability to hold and handle such a large number of people.

Haitians have migrated from South America to the United States in large numbers for several years, and many have left the Caribbean after the 2010 catastrophic earthquake. After work depletion at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics, many trekked to the US border by foot, bus or car, including via the infamous Darien Gap in Panama’s jungle.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection blocked bidirectional vehicle and pedestrian traffic on Friday at the only border crossing between Del Rio and Ciudad Akunya “to meet urgent safety and security needs,” Saturday. Remained closed. Travelers were indefinitely guided to the Eagle Pass intersection, approximately 55 miles (90 km) away.

Crowd estimates varied, but Mayor Del Rio Bruno Rosano said Saturday night there were more than 14,500 immigrants in the camp under the bridge. Immigrants set up tents and built temporary shelters from giant reeds known as caliso wands. Many people bathed and washed their clothes in the river.

How quickly such a large number of people gathered, even though many Haitians gathered in camps on the Mexican side of the border and waited to decide whether to attempt to enter the United States. Is unknown.

Haitian arrivals began to reach unsustainable levels for the Del Rio border guard about two and a half weeks ago, according to U.S. officials not authorized to discuss, to Robert Garcia, the authority’s deputy director. I urged headquarters to ask for help. The problem is public.

Since then, agencies have transferred Haitians by bus and van to other border guard facilities in Texas, especially El Paso, Laredo and the Lower Rio Grande Valley. They are primarily handled outside the government’s pandemic authorities. That is, they can claim asylum and stay in the United States while their claims are taken into account. The US Immigration and Customs Department decides on custody, but families are generally not allowed to be detained for more than 20 days under court order.

Homeland Security plans were announced on Saturday, indicating a shift to the use of pandemic-related authorities for immediate exile to Haiti without the opportunity to claim asylum, officials said.

The planned flight is potentially large, but it depends on how the Haitians react. They may have to decide whether to continue to be at risk of being sent back to their poor hometown or to return to Mexico. Unaccompanied children are exempt from fast track expulsion.

“Our borders are not open and people should not travel dangerously,” the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement.

“Individuals and families are subject to border restrictions, including expulsion,” the authorities wrote.

Lozano was reported by Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, and Spagat was reported by San Diego. Associated Press writers Ben Fox, Alexandra Jaffe, Colleen Long in Washington, and San Juan Danikakoto in Puerto Rico contributed to this report.

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