Migrants leave US-Mexico border camps after government agreement – News


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AFP

Ciudad Acuna – Around 2,000 people transported to Haiti on 17 deportation flights



By AFP

Posted: Sat, Sep 25, 2021, 3:30 PM

Last update: Sat, Sep 25, 2021, 3:43 PM

Almost all of the mostly Haitian migrants who had gathered on both sides of the US-Mexico border left their makeshift camps, ending a standoff that had sparked a major border crisis for the Biden administration.

In Ciudad Acuna, on the Mexican side, AFP saw migrants packing their belongings and getting into vans, taking them to a refuge after an agreement with the Mexican government.

Hours earlier, the United States announced that the last of the migrants who camped illegally under a bridge on the Texas side of the border had either left or evacuated.

“As of this morning, there are no more migrants in the camp located under the Del Rio bridge,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told reporters at the White House.

About 2,000 were transported to Haiti on 17 deportation flights, Mayorkas said, while “others were transferred to processing facilities along the border.”

“Many of them will be sent back to Haiti from there,” he said.

The homeland security chief said about 8,000 people had voluntarily returned to Mexico across the border, some 12,400 people will have their cases heard by an immigration judge and 5,000 more are in process to determine whether or not they will be returned.

In Ciudad Acuna, city council secretary Felipe Basulto said migrants currently at the shelter would not be detained or deported and could move around the city “with confidence”.

He said they would be able to try to resolve their immigration status during their stay at the shelter, which is administered by the National Migration Institute “precisely so that they can offer them an alternative of staying legally in the country”.

The relocation came hours after Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he did not want his country to become “a migrant camp”.

“We want the underlying problem resolved,” he said, urging the United States to invest in economic development in Central America so that people do not have to flee poverty.

Despite the emptying of the camps, Haitians continued to arrive in the American city of Monterrey on Friday.

“If I find work to live here, to support my family, I have no problem staying,” Joseph Yorel told AFP on Friday.

The sudden appearance of thousands of desperate Haitians, who have traveled across much of Latin America to reach the United States, has caused a major headache for President Joe Biden’s administration.

The problem was highlighted after the outcry over photos of clashes between border patrol officers on horseback and Haitians on foot.

Showing officers wielding long leather reins and dressed in some cases in clothing reminiscent of westerns, the photos many conjured up distressing images of self-defense justice or even the era of slavery in the United States.

In his first comments on the disturbing footage, Biden said it was “outrageous” and promised “consequences.”

“It was horrible… to see people being treated the way they did: horses nearly knocking them over and people tied up,” Biden said. ” It’s scandalous. I promise you these people will pay.

He added: “An investigation is underway now, and there will be consequences. “

Biden took office in January, promising to reverse what he called the inhumane policies of his Republican predecessor Donald Trump on the southern border.

Trump, who has regularly warned that U.S. borders are being crossed and falsely claimed immigrants bring large-scale crime and disease, has focused much of his presidency on promises to control the borders.

Biden finds himself at a standstill eight months after starting his presidency, with large numbers of potential migrants apprehended after illegally crossing Mexico, including 200,000 people in August.

The government had allowed some of the most vulnerable migrants to register and enter the United States.

However, many Haitian migrants were ordered to be repatriated immediately to Haiti, the country they had fled in some cases years earlier.

The US special envoy to Haiti resigned Thursday in protest, citing the “inhumane and counterproductive decision.”

Democrats accuse Biden of breaking his promises, underscoring his decision to maintain strict deportation rules, which the White House says is necessary due to Covid-19 restrictions.

At the same time, Biden is hammered daily by Republicans and the Fox News Network which describes the southern border as out of control and the White House as an abandonment of American security.

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About Tammy N. McFarlane

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