In the midst of a migration surge, the Department of Homeland Security plans to increase deportations of Haitians in Texas.
Following reports that thousands of migrants had gathered under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a plan on Saturday to increase deportation flights from the small border city to Haiti.
Within the next few days, the federal department said it is planning more transportation to speed up and enhance the capacity of removal flights to Haiti and other places.
“The Biden Administration has stated unequivocally that our borders are closed and that people should not attempt the perilous voyage. Border restrictions, including deportation, apply to individuals and families. Irregular migration poses a substantial threat to the health and welfare of border communities, as well as the lives of migrants, and should not be attempted, according to a statement released by the Department of Homeland Security on Saturday.
According to CNN, there are 14,353 migrants, mostly from Haiti, waiting to be processed by immigration authorities under the Del Rio International Bridge as of Saturday. Thousands of migrants crossed the Rio Grande in large groups, and many have built cave-like shelters along the river’s banks. Some families have been there for as long as six days, living in cramped, unhygienic circumstances in the makeshift camps.
For some years, Haitians have been traveling in significant numbers from South America to the United States, but the latest influx coincides with the country’s political and environmental instability this summer. A 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti a month after the country’s prime minister was assassinated in July, killing almost 2,000 people and displacing tens of thousands.
Authorities have said that many Haitians had been camped along the US-Mexico border prior of the surge, but it is unknown how the thousands of migrants assembled so rapidly in Del Rio. The Department of Homeland Security announced new measures to confront the flow of migrants on Saturday, including dispatching 400 border patrol agents to the area over the next 24-48 hours.
Border Patrol is also cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the United States Coast Guard to relocate migrants from Del Rio to other processing facilities, including roughly 2,000 migrants on Friday, according to the Department of Homeland Security. The government also stated that it is implementing “urgent humanitarian initiatives” to alleviate overcrowding and improve circumstances for migrants while they wait to enter the country. This is a condensed version of the information.