The U.S. government on Sunday began deporting Haitian migrants held in a makeshift camp under a bridge in the South Texas city of Del Rio following a massive border crossing.
U.S. began deporting Haitian migrants detained in Texas
A total of 208 Haitians who were trying to enter the United States illegally have already been returned, the Haitian government confirmed to Efe, in a socio-political and economic context marked by an acute crisis.
Of the three flights scheduled for Sunday, two have already arrived, Jean Négot Bonheur Delva, coordinator of the National Migration Office, told the agency.
According to the official, all the flights were supposed to bring 145 passengers, but 98 people arrived on the first plane and 110 on the second. “They are people who have tried to enter the United States through its borders with Mexico. They are people who were living in Chile, Mexico, Panama and Brazil in particular,” he added.
Although Tom Cartwright of Witness at the Border, an organization that tracks U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) flights, told Reuters there were three flights from Texas, one from Laredo and two from San Antonio.
The Haitians returned to their country were part of a group of some 13,000 people who remained camped under a bridge connecting Del Rio, Texas, with Ciudad Acuna, Mexico. Although most were Haitian nationals, there were also Cubans, Peruvians, Venezuelans and Nicaraguans.
U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz said Sunday that those who had not yet been returned had been transferred to detention centers.
“We are working tirelessly to quickly move migrants from the heat and from under this bridge to our facilities to process them and remove them from the United States in accordance with our laws and our policies,” Ortiz said at a news conference at the bridge.