Biden to begin 'deportation blitz' to Haiti by Sunday

Biden to begin ‘deportation blitz’ as soon as tomorrow and restart the repatriation flights to Haiti he cancelled a week ago, triggering influx of 14,000 Haitians across the border as thousands continue to arrive in US

  • The US will begin deported undocumented Haitian immigrants on Sunday after 14,000 arrived at Texas and thousands more continue to make the trip
  • The Biden administration is pushing Haiti’s government to accept eight flights per day, about a week since Biden ended repatriation flights to Haiti
  • A federal judge ordered a block on the deportation blitz, but the US has a two-week window to conduct deportations until the order goes into effect
  • The majority of migrants have constructed make shift camps in Del Rio, Texas, where a bridge serves as shade amid high temperatures and squalid conditions 
  • Haiti is reeling from a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that killed thousands as well as the political unrest following the presidential assassination in July

The Biden administration has begun preparing deportation flights to Haiti in order to curb the number of undocumented migrants flooding into Del Rio, Texas, after nearly 14,000 immigrants began camping in the area as thousand continue to arrive.

Department of Homeland Security officials are planning as many as eight flights per day to Haiti, starting on Sunday, about a week since President Joe Biden cancelled repatriation flights to Haiti.

Haiti – which is recovering from a magnitude 7.2 earthquake that killed more than 2,000 people and damaged more than 100,000 homes – is prepared to only accept at least three flights a day, but Biden’s administration will push for the eight, The Washington Post reported. 

Despite the oncoming deportation blitz, thousands of Haitian continue to cross the US-Mexico border, wading through dark waters of the Rio Grande in order to reach America.  

Haitian immigrants are continuing to cross the Rio Grande to get to the US while the nation prepares an immigration blitz against the 14,000 Haitian who are arriving in Texas

The migrants wade through the river Friday night to cross from Ciudad Acuna, Mexico

The desperate migrants stuff their belongings into a plastic bag and jump into the river

A Haitian father can be seen carrying his son on his shoulder on Friday as they cross the river

The migrants are attempting to escape the political upheaval and natural disaster that left Haiti devastated in July and August 

Another US official added that the deportation flights were not a targeted measure against Haitian immigrants, but merely the application of the US law to swiftly return the influx of migrants. 

Under Title 42 of the US pandemic enforcement measures, the nation is allowed to conduct a rapid expulsion of migrants who cross the Mexican border illegally. 

‘This isn’t about any one country or country of origin,’ a US official told the Post. ‘This is about enforcing border restrictions on those who continue to enter the country illegally and put their lives and the lives of the federal workforce at risk.’ 

While a federal judge block the used of Title 42 on Thursday, the stay does not go into effect for two weeks, allowing the administration enough time to conduct more than 100 deportation flights. 

The Biden administration had also filed an appeal on Friday. 

One migrant was seen stuffing his belongings in a black, plastic bag before jumping into the Rio Grande on Friday night to make the journey with his fellow Haitians

More than 195,000 migrants have made the trek into the US this past year

Most of the migrants come from Haiti, with Cubans, Venezuelans and Nicaraguans also making the trip into the US

U.S. authorities encountered more than 195,000 migrants at the Mexican border in August, near a 20-year high

The Post reported that the deportation measure would be in acted in hopes of discouraging immigrants from making the trip to America, but migrants continue the journey regardless of the consequences. 

U.S. authorities encountered more than 195,000 migrants at the Mexican border in August, according to government data released on Wednesday.

14,000 of them are camped out beneath a bridge in Del Rio and are mostly Haitian with some Cubans, Venezuelans and Nicaraguans also present. 

Haiti is in the midst of its own humanitarian crisis after a magnitude 7.2 earthquake on August 14, which killed more than 2,200 people and damaged or destroyed more than 100,000 homes.

The impoverished country is also being wracked by fresh political instability caused by the assassination of its former president Jovenel Moise in June, with the island’s prime minister Ariel Henry since named as a suspect in the investigation.

After aerial drone images of the growing camp surfaced Thursday morning, the Federal Aviation Administration, overseen by Biden Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, imposed a two-week flight restriction banning drones from flying in the area, citing unspecified security concerns. 

The Haitian immigrants have set up make-shift camps in Del Rio Texas as they seek asylum

The tents are made from nearby sticks and the sheets the migrants brought along

Some are using Carrizo cane to construct sturdier tents as they wait to be granted asylum

Critics of the administration immediately accused the administration of censorship. ‘It really is ridiculous. I’ve never seen anything like that,’ Senator Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, told Fox News of the FAA ruling.

‘The drone footage started this morning, and people all across the country were horrified, and I guess the political operatives at the Biden White House saw that,’ Cruz said in an interview from near the migrant camp.

The FAA told in a statement on Thursday night: ‘The Border Patrol requested the temporary flight restriction due to drones interfering with law enforcement operations.’

Food and water has been scarce in the makeshift camp, around 20 migrants told Reuters, and temperatures have risen to around 99 Fahrenheit.

Border Patrol said in a statement it was increasing staffing in Del Rio to facilitate a ‘safe, humane and orderly process.’ Drinking water, towels and portable toilets have been provided, the statement added, while migrants wait to be transported to facilities. 

Amid the surge of the highly infectious Delta variant, the crowded conditions of the camp also raised concerns about the possibility of COVID-19 outbreaks endangering the health of the migrants

Attempting to escape the sweltering heat, migrants bathe in the Rio Grande river near the International Bridge on Thursday

Migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. rest near the International Bridge between Mexico and the U.S. on Thursday

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said Thursday that he directed state troopers and the Texas National Guard ‘to shut down six points of entry along the southern border’ at the request of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, before reversing himself and blaming the confusion on the Biden administration.

‘Six hours after U.S. Customs and Border Protection requested help from Texas to close ports of entry and secure the border, the Biden Administration has now flip-flopped to a different strategy that abandons border security and instead makes it easier for people to cross illegally and for cartels to exploit the border,’ Abbott said in a statement.

‘The Biden Administration is in complete disarray and is handling the border crisis as badly as the evacuation from Afghanistan. I have directed the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas National Guard to maintain their presence at and around ports of entry to deter crossings,’ added the governor.

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