US increases flights to deport migrants

The United States will increase deportation flights for thousands of migrants flooding into Texas, to “cool down” the growing crisis with the Biden administration.

Bruno Lozano, the mayor of Del Rio, a border city in Texas, said on September 18 that more than 14,000 migrants, many of them Haitian, were in the area. Video shows crowds jostling under or around the Del Rio International Bridge, which spans the Rio Grande border river into Mexico.

Lozano added that local and federal authorities have deployed staff, buses and planes to deport these illegal migrants. US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is controlling the area where migrants live.

People wade across the Rio Grande River, near a makeshift refugee camp at the foot of the bridge in Del Rio, Texas, USA on September 18.  Photo: AFP.

People wade across the Rio Grande River, near a makeshift refugee camp at the foot of the bridge in Del Rio, Texas, USA on September 18. Photo: AFP.

The border at Del Rio is temporarily closed and traffic is being rerouted to clear bottlenecks at the bridge. The Department of Homeland Security said it would “ensure additional transportation to accelerate and increase capacity of deportation flights to Haiti and other hemisphere destinations over the next 72 hours.”

The Department of Homeland Security statement also said the Biden administration was taking action to “reduce crowding and improve conditions for migrants on US soil”, while working with “point and transit countries”. in the area”.

Republicans are criticizing President Biden for the crisis at the border. “Anyone who actually sees what’s going on can’t think Biden’s inhumane policies make sense,” Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted.

Republican Representative Tony Gonzales also tweeted that “we are seeing the situation deteriorate rapidly by the hour”. “Border agents are doing everything they can but they clearly need more support right now,” he said.

CBP deployed 400 additional agents to “improve its ability to control the area,” the Department of Homeland Security said.

Border officials have been overwhelmed by the influx of migrants crossing the border from Mexico trying to enter the United States, as well as the influx of migrants from Afghanistan after the Taliban took over the country. Haitians are also looking to the US in the hope of staying as their country is suffering heavy damage from a major earthquake and political turmoil.

The majority of the more than 200,000 migrants at the border were deported by the Biden administration in July and August, the most in more than a decade. Some argue that Biden’s decision in late July to allow visa-free Haitians to stay in the United States following the assassination of President Jovenel Moise, inspired others to come.

However, the Department of Homeland Security said “regular deportation and displacement flights” to Haiti, Mexico, Ecuador, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras are ongoing.

According to CBP, “the majority of migrants” will be deported under the government’s policy to restrict immigration due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Biden has promised a more humane immigration policy than his predecessor Donald Trump, but he has faced an influx of border crossings since taking office. Most people were deported, but many families and unaccompanied minors were allowed to stay.

10,000 migrants crammed under a bridge in the US

More than 10,000 migrants gather at the foot of an overpass in the city of Del Rio, Texas, USA on September 17. Video: Fox.

Huyen Le (Follow AFP)

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