As thousands of Haitians cross border into Texas, deportations make many migrants reconsider

© AP Photo/Eric Gay Migrants, many from Haiti, board a bus after they were processed and released after spending time at a makeshift camp near the International Bridge, Monday, Sept. 20, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The U.S. is flying Haitians camped at Texas border town back to their homeland and trying to block others from crossing the border from Mexico.

Every day for the past month, Mamouna Ishmael has made her way to a dam where the Rio Grande connects Mexico and Texas, wondering if today will be the day that she wades across the river to try to claim asylum in the United States.

For Ishmael, the 253 steps across the knee-deep waters of the shallow dam represent the final distance after migrating from her native Haiti to the Dominican Republic, then from there to Chile, where, after two years of being unable to get a work permit, she decided to head to Mexico. She and her husband finally arrived a month ago after crossing eight South and Central American countries, mainly on foot, and spending two weeks in the jungles of Panama.

“Everyday we come, and check out the situation,” said Ishamel, 38, standing at the top of the dam, where fellow Haitians were either contemplating the same risk or preparing to cross. “We’re afraid. We have no choice but to wait.”

Just as rumors had fueled hope, prompting an unprecedented number of migrant crossings at the U.S southern border last week, they were now causing fear and despair.

As thousands of Haitian migrants continue to live under an international bridge in the city of Del Rio, Texas, in a makeshift camp waiting for a chance to present themselves to U.S. immigration officials, others are rethinking their plans amid fears that they could find themselves on a flight to Haiti.

On Sunday as Haiti prepared to receive three flights from Texas, the head of the Caribbean nation’s migration office pleaded for a moratorium on repatriation flights from the United States, based on humanitarian grounds.

“Fourteen thousand people are expected to descend on us here,” Jean Négot Bonheur Delva, the head of Haiti’s Office of National Migration, told the Miami Herald. “It is too much.”

In a bid to try to contain the surge, the Biden administration has announced that it is ramping up deportation flights to Haiti, and that the White House has directed U.S. agencies to work with the Haitian and other regional governments to provide assistance and support to returnees.

Insisting that the United States’ border is not open, the Department of Homeland Security said the majority of migrants continue to be expelled under Title 42, a law invoked by the Trump administration in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic that allows the expulsion of migrants who have recently been in a country where a communicable disease is present.

“Those who cannot be expelled under Title 42 and do not have a legal basis to remain will be placed in expedited removal proceedings,” DHS said in a statement, adding that the agency is “conducting regular expulsion and removal flights to Haiti, Mexico, Ecuador, and Northern Triangle countries.”

Hundreds of additional U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents are being deployed to Del Rio, where Mayor Bruno Lozano on Saturday confirmed that additional state and federal resources were on the way to help the city and Border Patrol deal with the problem. He also announced that many of the migrants would be bused to other ports of entry.

The influx of migrants continue to pose serious challenges for Del Rio, where U.S. Customs and Border Patrol on Friday temporarily closed the port of entry, and Lozano closed the international bridge, forcing traffic to drive 57 miles to the east to Eagle Pass to cross into Mexico. The bridge has also been closed on the Mexican side, leaving journalists with no access to the migrants or the process under which they are being returned.

Lozano said the bridge closure was causing the city “millions of dollars per hour,” but it was meant to send a strong message to his Mexican counterparts about his frustrations over the crisis as the number of migrants swelled to well over 14,800.

“We’re very frustrated by some of the local leadership,” Lozano said, referring to officials in Ciudad Acuña, just across the border. “That leadership needs to step up and stop the cross traffic in our community here as well. They really need to take action on their side to limit the access that unlawful entry is presenting.”

Calling the unfolding drama in Del Rio a humanitarian and security crisis, U.S. Rep. August Pfluger, a Texas Republican, said it was “a crisis beyond our imagination.” The number of migrants in just a few short days, he said, had grown from 8,000 to nearly 15,000.

“The message is that Del Rio is open; that’s the message,” Pfluger said, adding that the administration should be doing what Texas Gov. Greg Abbott had agreed to do: send National Guard troops to the border.

Pfluger blamed the surge on President Biden, accusing his administration of opening the door to the arrivals by pausing deportations to Haiti after the country’s president was assassinated on July 7 and ignoring a Supreme Court decision that blocked the administration from ending a Trump-era program that forces people to remain in Mexico while seeking asylum in the U.S.

“We need the administration to call this what it is. This is a crisis,” he said.

Pfluger accused drug cartels and trafficking networks of getting the word out and bringing people by charging them “thousands of dollars per person because they think this is open.”

“The most alarming thing I heard,” Pfluger added, “is not the almost 15,000 people… who are here. It’s what’s behind that. The Border Patrol agents… told me that what is coming is much worse in the numbers than what we are seeing right here.”

Over the weekend Haiti and Mexico agreed to establish a permanent dialogue to address the situation of irregular migration flows, including the transit through Mexico. Haiti’s ambassador to Mexico, Hugues Monplaisir Féquière, said the country is looking to assist Haiti in addressing the economic and social causes that lead people to leave, and he plans to visit the border to speak with migrants.

In Port-au-Prince, Haitian government officials over the weekend were also initially sent a flight manifest from the U.S., with the names of 147 deportees, including 133 migrants from Del Rio, who are supposed to arrive in Port-au-Prince on Tuesday.

But on Sunday, Delva, the director general of the Office of National Migration, said two Immigration and Customs Enforcement charter deportation flights were already en route to Port-au-Prince from San Antonio and were scheduled to arrive shortly after 1:30 p.m. A third flight was also coming from Laredo, Texas, with repatriated migrants. His office has been told to expect as many as three deportation flights a day starting Monday with between 135 and 150 migrants onboard, he said

“We are pleading for a humanitarian moratorium,” Delva said. “The country is undergoing a difficult period; whether it’s the insecurity, the lack of infrastructure — we just had a major earthquake on the 14th of August in the south. A lot of people lost everything they had; even schools in the region cannot reopen. To be repatriating people back to Haiti at this same moment, and with COVID-19, I think the U.S should be trying to help Haiti at this moment with a humanitarian moratorium.”

Delva said some of those being deported have legal residency in Brazil, Chile and Mexico and instead of being returned to Haiti, those individuals should have the option of returning to the last countries where they lived. “I think if the American authorities give them the offer to return, they will choose to do so rather than return to Haiti because things are really complicated for us here at the moment.”

Marleine Bastien, a Haitian community and immigration activist in Miami, said it is cruel and inhumane for the Biden administration to be deporting Haitian refugees at this time to Haiti. She also said she was “deeply concerned with the United States treatment of Haitian refugees who are fleeing credible threat and violence in Haiti” and returning them without a chance to make a case for asylum in the U.S.

“This humanitarian crisis is a result of years of failed U.S. foreign policies vis-a-vis Haiti that supported incompetent and corrupt leaders ruling by decree and tainted by corruption scandals, while ignoring the voices of civil society leaders,” said Bastien, who heads the Family Action Network Movement.

Among those who will not be on that flight are Elisson Cador, 31, and his family, including his 13-month old child. Awaiting a Greyhound Bus in Del Rio to travel to San Antonio on Saturday, from where he planned to fly to Miami, Cador recounted the decision that led him to the bridge last week.

After four years of living in Chile, he finally left this year, he said, after learning that some housemates had successfully made the journey. But the trip, which cost him about $4,000, and a trek through the Darien Gap — a jungle on the border of Colombia and Panama where many a migrant has perished in rivers and quicksand — wasn’t easy.

“There are some who died along the way, but thank God we made it,” Candor said. “In life you have to take chances because you just don’t know where life will end up.”

Cador made it to Tapachula, Mexico, at the end of July after a three-week trek. His plan, he said, was to stay longer. But with no work, no affordable place to live and no food, he figured “things were going to get complicated” for him, so he took his chances with the border crossing at Ciudad Acuña.

Contrary to Pfluger’s suggestion that migrants are paying traffickers, also known as coyotes, Cador and other Haitians at the bus stop in Del Rio insist that they are finding their way to the U.S.-Mexican border the same way they are making it through South America and the jungle: by the word of mouth, WhatsApp and maps.

Tiffany Burrow, who runs a migrant assistance coalition, said the number of migrants pouring into Del Rio was on the rise even before the latest influx made international headlines. Her faith-based organization, Val Verde Border Humanitarian Coalition in Del Rio, went from helping 100 migrants a month to 100 a week, then to 3,649 in August. All were new arrivals who had been processed by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol and brought to the migrant assistance group for help connecting with families in the U.S. and arranging flights.

“We’ve seen a steady incline for sure in the last nine months,” Burrow said, noting that while not all the migrants are Haitians, they are becoming a larger percentage of the total.

Like other immigration advocates, she’s baffled by how U.S. immigration authorities are deciding which migrants get paroled into the United States so that they can press their asylum claim, and who gets repatriated under Title 42, which was first invoked by the Trump administration during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The possibility of being sent back to Haiti has triggered fear among Haitians, many of whom have not lived in the country for years and do not see the possibility of a future there.

Judson Auguste, 23, said he and his wife were both planning to head to the Del Rio border until he heard this week that the U.S. was deporting Haitian migrants. Now he’s looking to stay in Mexico, where he and his wife have been for the past two months after spending two months traveling from Brazil.

“They tell us there are jobs, but we haven’t been able to find work,” said Auguste, a mechanic who left Haiti for Brazil two years ago. “Even to find housing is difficult. We can’t find any.”

He survives, Auguste said, through the generosity of relatives in the U.S., who send him money. While grateful, what he desires most is “to help myself.”

For every Auguste who is willing to give up on his dream to try to get to the U.S. there is someone whose desperation has no deterrent.

“I crossed 10 countries to get here,” a man identifying himself only as Valdano said after wading through the Rio Grande with a cardboard box on top of his head to reach the U.S. side.

Recounting his hardships, including the rape of his wife during the ardous journey, he said he’s determined to get to the U.S.

A father of an 11-month-old who was born in Brazil, where he was unable to find work, the man said he had spent five days under the Del Rio bridge waiting for a chance to enter the U.S. before temporarily leaving Saturday to get food for his family.

He has heard there were already “a lot of deportations.” But what choice does he have? he asked.

“I was already here,” the man said after repacking the box and walking past Border Patrol agents to rejoin his wife. “I have no choice but to resign myself. But if they send me back to Haiti, I will die because I have a child.”

Alex Rosier, who was also in Brazil where he worked in masonry before winding up in Mexico two months ago, said returning to Haiti isn’t an option. With his wife, Elda, and 3-year-old daughter across the water in the U.S., Rosier had not yet decided whether to rejoin them after returning to Mexico temporarily to get food . That’s when he learned about the deportations.

“I am not going to Haiti to go die,” he said. “They could arrive back in Haiti and not die, but me, I have no choice. I came here to ask for asylum because they already tried to kill me once in my country.”

In the seven years since Rosier left Haiti, the Caribbean nation has been racked by one crisis after another. Currently, there is ongoing political instability, the unsolved assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, and the deadly August earthquake in the southern peninsula that killed thousands. There are also armed gangs that kill and kidnap with impunity.

“What country is this they want to return people to?” Rosier said. “A country without a president, with no stability, no opportunity.”

He doesn’t understand, he said, how the U.S. is sending people back without at least giving them a chance to make their case.

“Where is the justice in that?”

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related


Cara Delevingne's dad reveals unlikely inspiration behind her name

It has been hinted that the inspiration for Cara Delevingne’s name came from the inflight magazine of Aer Lingus. © ABC/Shutterstock Cara Delevingne – ABC/Shutterstock In a new interview with ... Read more »

Joshua McIlwaine hopes win can galvanise Ballinamallard United's season

Ballinamallard picked up their first win in a month on Saturday but had to do it the hard way against Dundela at Wilgar Park. Having had the previous week’s match ... Read more »

PS5 stock UK - live: Game restock sells out – here's who could drop next

LIVE – Updated at 11:05 © iStock/The Independent PS5 indybest 3 UPDATE: The PS5 has now sold out at Game. It could drop a second time this afternoon. Read on ... Read more »

Pawan Kalyan to kick off remaining shooting schedule of Hari Hara Veera Mallu soon

© Provided by Pinkvilla Actor-turned-politician Pawan Kalyan, who recently made a re-entry into the movies after a long gap, had given a hit with ‘Vakeel Saab’. With a couple of ... Read more »

IAF Mirage aircraft crashes at Bhind in MP, pilot ejects safely

© Provided by Zee News Gwalior: An Indian Air Force (IAF) plane crashed in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhind district on Thursday morning, officials said. “An IAF Mirage 2000 aircraft experienced a technical ... Read more »

Netizens slam Karan Kundrra for indulging in physical fight with Pratik Sehajpal on 'Bigg Boss 15'

© Provided by The Statesman Netizens slam Karan Kundrra for indulging in physical fight with Pratik Sehajpal on ‘Bigg Boss 15’ Any season of ‘Bigg Boss’ is incomplete without fights. ... Read more »

SpiceJet reveals special Boeing 737 livery to celebrate 100 crore vaccine doses in India

© Provided by Zee News Spicejet, the budget air carrier on India has unveiled a special livery on October 21 (Thursday) to celebrate 100 crore vaccine doses being administered by ... Read more »

PM Modi interacts with beneficiaries, healthcare workers as India hits 100 crore vaccine milestone

© Provided by Firstpost PM Modi interacts with beneficiaries, healthcare workers as India hits 100 crore vaccine milestone From discussing beneficiaries’ hobbies to talking about the experience of healthcare workers, ... Read more »

KBC 13 PROMO: Sonu Nigam stuns Amitabh Bachchan as he reveals he's been singing THIS song since 4 years of age

© Provided by Pinkvilla The quiz show Kaun Banega Crorepati 13 hosted by Amitabh Bachchan is attended by Bollywood celebs on weekend episodes. Till now Deepika Padukone, Farah Khan, Kriti ... Read more »

Norhizam will not be a PH candidate

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Norhizam Hassan Baktee, who had been elected on a DAP ticket in GE14, quit the party after the Sheraton move, leading to the fall ... Read more »

I'm a bearded lady & men love it, they pay me for sexy photos & constantly ask for dates – I wish I could grow it longer

A BEARDED woman has revealed that men love her long facial hair and they constantly ask her out on dates. The woman, who goes by the name PeekabooPumpkin, has found ... Read more »

Apollo CEO talks culture - Credit Suisse's talent exodus - PayPal considers Pinterest purchase

Hi, and welcome to Insider Finance. This is deputy editor Meredith Mazzilli. Some news before we dive in: This is the second-to-last edition before our newsletter goes on hiatus. Thank ... Read more »

Inside Gemma Collins' incredible study makeover with pink armchairs and gold accessories

GEMMA Collins has splashed out on a stunning office makeover with pink armchairs and gold accessories. The 40-year-old shared a transformation clip of her pink-themed room, complete with a glass ... Read more »

Mark Zuckerberg hasn't yet decided on Facebook's new name despite a 'metaverse' rebrand looming, a report says

© Provided by Business Insider Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images Mark Zuckerberg still hasn’t picked a new name for Facebook’s rebrand, journalist Casey Newton reports. Facebook’s new name ... Read more »

What We Have Lost

© Diego Ibarra Sanchez/Getty From my home in Beirut, I think of Hong Kong all the time. Even though I’ve never been and have no real ties to it, I ... Read more »

Jamie Lee Curtis and daughter Ruby praised for discussing transgender journey

© Getty Images Jamie Lee Curtis – Getty Images Jamie Lee Curtis and her daughter Ruby are receiving praise after speaking about Ruby’s coming out as transgender. Ruby, who is ... Read more »

India vs Pakistan T20 World Cup 2021: Inzamam-ul-Haq picks Virat Kohli's side as best to win in UAE

© Provided by Zee News Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq has picked India as the favourite to win the ongoing ICC `s T20 World Cup 2021 in Oman and United Arab ... Read more »

Unchanged Bangladesh opt to bat with top spot up for grabs

© ICC via Getty Bangladesh stuck to the same XI that beat Oman on Tuesday © ICC via Getty Toss Bangladesh chose to bat vs Papua New Guinea Bangladesh captain ... Read more »

Heading On Your Solo Trip? Here Are The Best Place Suggestions

The wonderful experience a solo trip gives cannot be put into words. It may require some courage to finally decide to travel alone, but it will for sure prepare you ... Read more »

Activists declare solidarity with Myanmar people

© Provided by Hindustan Times The declaration also suggests a way forward to establish a “workable democracy” in Myanmar which may result in the Tatmadaw return to its honourable role ... Read more »

Odell Beckham Jr. trade rumors: Will the Browns move OBJ before 2021 NFL deadline?

Sell on Odell? Not quite, not yet. It’s been an up-and-down stay with the Browns since Odell Beckham arrived in 2019, with a few injuries and questions over touches and ... Read more »

‘Afghanistan Ka Neeraj Chopra' Rashid Khan Stunned About Wedding Questions At 23 Years Of Age

© Provided by MensXP Rashid Khan is just 23 years old and one of the biggest hopefuls for the fans of the Afghanistan cricket team who are looking forward to ... Read more »

Myles Garrett's graveyard, explained: Here are the NFL QBs sacked the most by Browns pass-rusher

Kyler Murray wasn’t happy to hear that his name was in the graveyard. No, not the actual cemetery, but the one in the front yard of Myles Garrett’s home. The ... Read more »

Check out Naomi Osaka's kawaii manicure

© Provided by The Indian Express Nail art is fast becoming a fashion fad — a way with which to express oneself and also keep up with the trends. The ... Read more »

Tejashwi Yadav skips Bihar Assembly event; JDU calls him ‘bhagoda', BJP says he insulted a Dalit President

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav, the Leader of Opposition in Bihar Assembly, finds himself in the middle of a controversy after he skipped an event in Patna on ... Read more »

Browns vs. Broncos odds, prediction, betting trends for NFL 'Thursday Night Football'

When the Broncos travel to face the Browns on “Thursday Night Football” to kick off Week 7 of the 2021 NFL season (8:20 p.m. ET, Fox, NFL Network, Amazon Prime ... Read more »

Rajasthan teacher beats student to death, tells his father he's 'acting dead'

A teacher in Rajasthan’s Churu thrashed his student to death for not completing homework. (Image for representation: PTI) A private school teacher was arrested for allegedly beating a Class 7 ... Read more »

Trump's Truth Social Hacked Within Hours of Announcement

Former President Donald Trump‘s new social media platform was reportedly hacked within hours of its announcement. © Chris Delmas/AFP via Getty Images This illustration photo shows a person checking the ... Read more »

Letters to the Editor: The death penalty should be banned, except for these crimes

The entrance to the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Ind., where federal executions are carried out. (Associated Press) To the editor: UC Berkeley Law School Dean Erwin Chemerinsky believes the ... Read more »

Janhvi Kapoor shines bright like a diamond in embellished mini dress. See pics

Janhvi Kapoor is slaying in her latest post and you have to check it out to believe it. She opted for a rose-gold mini dress for an appearance on Ranveer ... Read more »

Progressive setbacks pile up even as deals appear closer: The Note

The TAKE with Rick Klein For a party that looks to be a good measure closer to passing a historic package of programs, there’s an awful lot of talk about ... Read more »

AP PGECET 2021: Results declared at; check direct link, other details here

© Provided by Firstpost AP PGECET 2021: Results declared at; check direct link, other details here The Andhra Pradesh State Council of Higher Education (APSCHE) has declared the results ... Read more »

Madhya Pradesh: IAF Mirage 2000 Aircraft Crashes in Bhind, Pilot Ejects Safely

© Provided by News18 Madhya Pradesh: IAF Mirage 2000 Aircraft Crashes in Bhind, Pilot Ejects Safely An IAF Mirage 2000 aircraft crashed into a field in Bhind district of Madhya ... Read more »

Activist dad of school shooting victim joins anti-gun group

WASHINGTON (AP) — The father of a 14-year-old girl killed in the 2018 Florida high school shooting massacre announced Thursday that he’s joining the top ranks of a progressive anti-gun ... Read more »

Merrick Garland testifies in House with US Capitol riots, abortion, vaccine and voting-rights fights ongoing

Attorney General Merrick Garland will appear before the House Judiciary Committee Thursday for a what should be a contentious hearing before a panel known for drama. © Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images ... Read more »

It's not just mums: Peter Andre confesses he suffers from 'dad guilt'

Peter and wife Emily on a rare night out (Reuters) Everyone is familiar with 'Mum-Guilt'. But for singer Peter Andre, Dad-Guilt is a thing, too. The father of four, 48, ... Read more »

Hochul gets early boost as NY gubernatorial race takes shape

© Clara Longo de Freitas/Getty Images Photo illustration of Kathy Hochul on a back and white background with a green New York state cutout outlined in red with the names ... Read more »

Aerial Footage Shows Extent of La Palma Lava Flow, a Month Into Eruptions

Drone footage from Wednesday, October 20, shows the extent of the lava flow from La Palma’s Cumbre Vieja volcano, a month after eruptions began. The most powerful earthquake since the ... Read more »
On you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic