The United States has announced that hundreds of Haitian migrants will be expelled by plane from Del Rio, Texas.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection revealed Saturday that previous plans to send the estimated 2,000 Haitian migrants who crossed into Texas from the Mexico border would be accelerated, reported NBC News.
On Friday, Homeland Security officials moved 2,000 migrants to various locations from a bridge in Del Rio where they had gathered in order to process them and prepare for their removal. They also planned to install 400 agents in the area by Monday.
The last time that migrants were expelled in a comparable manner without the opportunity to seek asylum was in 1992. At that time the Coast Guard intercepted Haitian refugees at sea. The refugee crises ran from 1991-1994 and the Coast Guard stopped an estimated 38,000 refugees. Just over 10,000 of them were allowed to seek asylum.
Haitian migrants have been disappointed in what seems to be the arbitrary application of United States immigration policy, as Mexican and Central and South American migrants tend to be allowed to pursue asylum more often.
“Why do they send us back to Haiti?” said migrant Adrián back in June while he and his wife were held in El Paso, TX. “We don’t have anything there. There’s no security. … I need a solution to not be sent back to my country.”
On Sunday, the border was closed but migrants still found a way to enter the country, many with boxes of food above their heads. Officials on horseback yelled at them to leave the area and report to a camp that was set up in Del Rio. Mexican officials told some of the migrants to go back into Mexico.
Border Patrol Chief Raul L. Ortiz said that he anticipated having all 12, 600 migrants expelled within the week. Mexico has also said that it plans to deport the migrants back to Haiti as well.