Migrants, many of them Haitian, cross the Rio Grande to get food and supplies near the Del Rio-Acuna Port of Entry in Ciudad Acuna, Coahuila state, Mexico on September 18, 2021. (Photo by PAUL RATJE/AFP via Getty Images)
UPDATED 4:28 PM PT – Sunday, September 19, 2021
U.S. authorities have closed part of the Texas border to block Haitian migrants from entering through Mexico. In efforts to slow the flow of migrants entering Del Rio, Texas through Mexico, the U.S. closed off a stretch of the border on Sunday. This comes after thousands of Haitian refugees set up camp in the region.
Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz reported more than 3,000 migrants had been removed from the camp and predicted the remaining 12,600 would be gone within the week.
“We are working around the clock to expeditiously move migrants out of the heat elements and from underneath this bridge to our processing facilities in order to quickly process and remove individuals from the United States, consistent with our laws and our policies,” said Ortiz.
For three weeks now, Haitian refugees have been escaping poverty, hunger and hopelessness in their homeland in the search for a better life in the U.S. Migrants were reportedly reentering Mexico to buy resources and then crossed back over to Texas returning to their campsite. Many Haitians explained they initially meant to settle in South America, but couldn’t attain legal status and also struggled with racism and finding work.
During President Donald Trump’s rule, his administration issued the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) public health order, known as Title 42, which allows most migrants to be expelled out of the country without the chance of claiming asylum. The Biden administration has kept this order in place even though they haven’t been evacuating most families.
Three planes have already transported around a quarter of the migrants at the camp in Del Rio back to Haiti or to processing centers. In the meantime, U.S. officials said starting on Sunday, five to eight planes will transport the remaining migrants. Additionally, 400 more agents will be stationed at the camp to regulate the process of removal.