Thursday, October 28, 2021
Oct. 28, 2021

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Options shrink for Haitian migrants on Texas border

As U.S. ramps up deportation, some return to Mexico

3 Photos
A migrant encampment is seen Tuesday along the Del Rio International Bridge near the Rio Grande in Del Rio, Texas.
A migrant encampment is seen Tuesday along the Del Rio International Bridge near the Rio Grande in Del Rio, Texas. (julio cortez/Associated Press) Photo Gallery

DEL RIO, Texas — Options narrowed Tuesday for thousands of Haitian migrants straddling the Mexico-Texas border as the United States government ramped up expulsion flights to Haiti, and Mexico began flying and busing some away from the border.

Dozens of migrants upset about being deported to Haiti tried to rush back into a plane that landed Tuesday afternoon in Port-au-Prince as they yelled at authorities. A security guard closed the plane door in time as some deportees began throwing rocks and shoes at the plane. Several of them lost their belongings in the scuffle as police arrived. The group was disembarking from one of three flights scheduled for the day.

More than 6,000 Haitians and other migrants had been removed from an encampment at Del Rio, Texas, U.S. officials said Monday as they defended a strong response that included immediately expelling migrants to their impoverished Caribbean country and faced criticism for using horse patrols to stop them from entering the town.

That was enough for some Haitian migrants to return to Mexico, while others struggled to decide on which side of the border to take their chances.

But thousands of people remain at the camp in Texas. Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, during a visit to Del Rio on Tuesday, said the county’s top official told him the most recent tally was about 8,600 migrants who remain there. He continued to slam the Biden administration and expressed skepticism the area would be cleared soon.

“They have shown no capability of being able to process all of these migrants by the end of the week,” Abbott said. “The only thing they have shown is an incapability of dealing with this crisis, candidly in a way where they pretend it doesn’t even exist. We’re here to tell you, it exists, it’s total chaos, and the Biden administration, they need to up their game big time.”