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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Haiti faces two crises: devastation, Texas border

By Brian Ly | Staff Writer

DANGER AND DISAPPOINTMENT  Haitian immigrants cross the Rio Grande River back into Mexico to avoid U.S. deportation after the clearing of the Del Rio International Bridge.

   In the last 11 years, Haiti has faced natural disasters, escalation of gang violence, disease outbreaks, and political instability. This year, the assassination of Haitian president Jovenal Moïse on July 7 and the 7.2 magnitude earthquake on Aug. 14 resulted in the migration of over 30,000 Haitians arriving at the Texan border, with migrants facing discrimination and violence at the border, and more than 4,000 refugees being sent back to Haiti after making a journey through entire countries. 

   After the 2010 7.0 magnitude earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people, tens of thousands of migrants fled Haiti. Now, many of the remaining 2010 expats are joined by new migrants traveling through Columbia, Panama, and Central America to reach the United States. 

   In the Sept. 24 press briefing with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, it was stated the highest number of migrants at Del Rio at one time was approximately 15,000 Haitians. 

   Mayorkas also reported that since the morning of Sept. 24, the makeshift camp of migrants under the Del Rio International Bridge had been completely cleared.    

   Haitians not detained or sent back to Haiti have been allowed to have their case heard by an immigration judge. As a result, more than 12,000 Haitians have been released into the United States according to Mayorkas’ press briefing. 

   The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Title 42 is a Trump administration health law, one that the Biden administration has continued to use to deport Haitian refugees despite protest and the administration’s pro-immigration stance. Title 42 dictates authority can deny entry to migrants from countries with communicable diseases, such as COVID-19. 

   During Sept. 9-27, 37 expulsion flights landed in Haiti with nearly 4,000 migrants under Title 42. 

   The U.S special envoy for Haiti, Daniel Foote, resigned on Sept. 23, having stated that he “will not be associated with the United States’ inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees and illegal immigrants to Haiti from the U.S. border.”

    Democrats also voiced their concerns over the mass exodus of Haitians arriving at the U.S., only to be turned away and sent back to the country they fled from. 

   Mayorkas maintained that Title 42 was not specifically targeting Haitians as it was “important to note that Title 42 is applicable and has been applicable to all irregular migration during this pandemic.” 

   The response U.S. Customs and Border Patrol took to contain migrants received similar backlash as the deportations of migrants with photos and videos of agents riding on horses and allegedly using whips confronting migrants becoming viral. The Biden administration has since condemned the agents’ behaviour, with the U.S. Border Patrol temporarily suspending the usage of horses while dealing with migrants at the border. 

   According to Mayorkas, agents used long reins, not whips, to control their horses. 

   “We know that those images painfully conjured up the worst elements of our nation’s ongoing battle against systemic racism,” Mayorkas said. “The agents involved in these incidents have been assigned to administrative duties and are not interacting with migrants while the investigation is ongoing.”

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Haiti faces two crises: devastation, Texas border