Social Issues

Massive influx of Haitian immigrants at US border poses challenge for Biden

Del Rio, Texas, Sep 17 (EFE).- Thousands of Haitians were on Friday housed at an improvised camp under the international Del Rio bridge at Texas’s border with Mexico while trying to cross into the United States, where the continuous arrival of immigrants has overwhelmed President Joe Biden’s administration.

Local organizations have said that the number of migrants being authorized to enter the US has been moving up at a snail’s pace.

Around 500 migrants, most of them from Haiti, were waiting to catch the only bus that could take them to San Antonio – the border city in Texas – for free thanks to arrangements by local volunteers.

From San Antonio, each family would take a bus or an airplane that often carry them to their kin who are already living in the US.

Saint, a migrant who has been allowed to enter the US, told EFE that him and his family were trying to find a way to spend the night in Del Rio after not finding space in the bus, despite waiting for several hours.

The family, including Saint’s 11-month old daughter, had to spent Thursday night in what he called “the jail,” a detention center run by the border patrol.

“It was cold, but (at least) we were all together,” Saint said with a smile.

The young man aims to reach Miami to meet family members and friends and find work “as soon as possible,” in order to give a better to life to his daughter.

He said that Haiti had become “a hell for everyone” since the assassination of its president Jovenel Moise in July.

A total of 13,000 migrants have been trying to cross into the US since Tuesday, and the migrant authorities have been overstretched.

The migrants have been put in an improvised shelter under the bridge linking the US with Mexico’s Ciudad Acuna, while their asylum requests are being processed, according to the Val Verde Border Humanitarian Coalition.

The group’s director for border affairs, Cynthia Vazquez, told EFE that the last few days had been very taxing for the volunteers as a flood of arrivals hit the city.

The Biden administration on Friday suddenly closed the border crossing connecting Del Rio and Ciudad Acuna

“This temporary closure and shift is necessary in order for the Customs and Border Protection to respond to urgent safety and security needs presented by an influx of migrants into Del Rio,” the CBP said in a statement, adding that the measure would take effect immediately.

Meanwhile, US media outlets have reported that the US government was preparing to run up to 8 daily deportation flights to Haiti and could announce a new policy in this regard, having so far desisted from deporting immigrants from the crisis-hit island.

The border between Texas and Mexico has witnessed a record surge in the arrival of undocumented immigrants since Biden came to power in January, creating a political crisis for the president. EFE


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