Saturday, January 22

Thousands of Haitians in caravan camp in Texas after massive border crossing

Immigrants try to cross the border into the US near Del Rio in Texas.

John Moore / Getty Images

WASHINGTON – More than 8,000 irregular immigrants, mostly Haitian nationals, are being held by US authorities in a makeshift camp in South Texas after a mass border crossing.

Migrants have been crossing into the United States since Tuesday through the Del Rio area (Texas) and have overwhelmed the immigration authorities, who they have improvised the camp under the international bridge that connects with Ciudad Acuña (Mexico) waiting to process asylum applications.

These more than 8,000 migrants, according to figures from local authorities, they sleep in the open and lack basic services, conditions that threaten to create a new humanitarian emergency on the southern border.

The Texas-Mexico border has seen record numbers of irregular immigrant arrivals since Joe Biden took office last January and has already been the focus of a political crisis for the new president.

According to The Washington Post, many of the Haitian migrants who have arrived in Texas emigrated from their country after the 2010 earthquake to South American nations such as Brazil or Chile, but the crisis created by the pandemic has now driven them to the United States.

The United States Border Patrol has sent reinforcements to the Del Río sector to manage the countryside and given the uncertainty that more migrants may cross in the coming days.

“To prevent heat-related illnesses, the shaded area under the Del Rio International Bridge is serving as a temporary stop while migrants wait to be in the custody of the Border Patrol,” this body explained in a statement.

Texas Governor Threatens to Close Six Border Crossing Points

The governor of Texas, Republican Greg Abbott, announced on Thursday the closure of six border crossing points with Mexico to “prevent migrant caravans from infesting” the state, although he later marched and said that state agents will only act to presence to decrease arrivals.

The mayor of Del Rio, Democrat Bruno “Ralphy” Lozano, urged the Joe Biden government to “recognize that there is a border crisis occurring in real time at this time with serious consequences for security and health.”

Lozano, who described the camp as “favela ”, also warned that if the agents concentrate on this point, the rest of the sector, of about 240 miles (400 kilometers), is being left unattended.

“Who is watching the rest of the sector?” He said, in statements collected by the Post.

Washington has reduced deportation flights to Haiti since the crisis sparked by the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July. Some 30,000 Haitians had crossed into the US in the last year according to official data.

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