Thousands of Haitian migrants arrive at the Southern border

Hatian+immigrants+are+gathering+at+the+southern+Texas+border+fleeing+natural+disasters+in+their+home+country.

Connor Martinez

Hatian immigrants are gathering at the southern Texas border fleeing natural disasters in their home country.

Eduardo Flores, Contributor

Over the years, Haiti has faced severe political, economic, and social problems, including most recently the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse and a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that killed nearly 2,200 people.    

Days after the deadly earthquake, Haiti also experienced Tropical Storm Grace that dropped 15 inches of rain, leading to torrential flooding.  

Groups of migrants from Haiti are sleeping under a border bridge in South Texas, seeking to escape from the conditions of their country as they try to make a home in the United States.    

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security confirmed Sept. 18 that thousands of Haitian immigrants are awaiting at Del Rio, Texas, for either deportation or asylum from U.S. authorities.  

“The U.S. Customs and Border Protection have surged 400 agents and officers to the Del Rio sector to improve control of the area. If additional staff is needed, more will be sent,” according to a statement released by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.   

Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott requested President Joe Biden for an emergency declaration in response to the influx of migrants in Del Rio, TX but no answer has been stated by President Biden.   

U.S. officials announced that more than 6,000 Haitians and other migrants had been removed from the Texas border.  

Approximately 2,000 migrants remain under the Del Rio International Bridge. Customs and Border Protection surged additional staff to the sector to assist with processing and transported thousands of people to be detained in other cities.    

In an interview for KVIA-7, El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego said Monday, Sept. 20, that about 1,500 Haitian migrants had arrived in El Paso from Del Rio. Also, approximately 500 more migrants would be coming daily to El Paso for processing before sending them back to Haiti from the El Paso International Airport.  

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas said at a news conference, “If you come to the United States illegally, you will be returned, your journey will not succeed, and you will be endangering your life and your family’s life.” 

Over the week, the White House has responded to shocking videos and images of aggressive tactics used by Border Patrol agents that users have condemned on social media.  

“The situation in Del Rio, Texas and the images I’ve seen are horrible. Human beings should never be treated in that way and I’m deeply troubled by the images I saw,” said Vice President Kamala Harris on Twitter.    

Democrats are criticizing the Biden administration for its treatment of Haitian migrants. On Sept. 13, the U.S. Special Envoy to Haiti, Daniel Foote, resigned, claiming the response of the Biden Administration to be “inhumane and counterproductive” to the recent Haitian migrant surge along the Southern border.  

The Biden Administration has promised to continue working closely with the Department of Homeland Security and Border Patrol to prevent discrimination towards Haitian migrants from allowing them to have a fair process.