Biden Administration to Deport Haitians in Del Rio, Texas - The New York Times
Sep 18, 2021 2 mins, 39 secs
will begin flying migrants back to Haiti and other countries on Sunday as President Biden struggles to manage an immigration system already buckling under record migration.

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration announced on Saturday that it would swiftly begin deporting Haitians who have gathered in the thousands at the southern border in the past week after illegally entering the United States as it struggled to manage an escalating crisis.

Even as it faces searing criticism from human rights groups and opposition from some Democratic lawmakers, the administration is pushing forward with a strategy meant to relieve the overflow in Del Rio and deter more Haitians from trying to come to the United States.

The Biden administration has three flights planned for Sunday, according to an official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss evolving plans, and starting on Monday, it will run four flights a day.

The administration temporarily paused deportation flights to Haiti after the country was struck by a devastating earthquake in August.

soil, has posed a new, urgent challenge for the Biden administration, which has been grappling for months with soaring numbers of undocumented migrants at the border.

The flights come as the Biden administration is appealing a court ruling this week that halted a Trump-era public health policy that used the coronavirus pandemic to justify turning back unauthorized migrants at the border.

The department said that it was also transferring migrants to other parts of the border that are currently less overwhelmed than Del Rio, a town of about 35,000 people surrounded by mostly ranch land, thorny brush and mesquite trees that is about 150 miles west of San Antonio.

To help repatriated Haitians who have not lived in the country for years, nonprofit organizations and some American officials will be stationed at the Port-au-Prince airport to receive migrants when they deplane, the official said.

People who have been firmly resettled in another country are not entitled to asylum in the United States, which suggests that many of the Haitians at the border would have a difficult time winning their claims for protection in the United States unless they could prove that they were experiencing violence.

Still, she and others sharply criticized the United States for returning people to Haiti, the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country, plunged into crisis this summer by a natural disaster and the killing of its president.

Recognizing the difficult conditions in Haiti, the Biden administration recently extended temporary relief from deportation to about 150,000 Haitians already living in the United States, granting them temporary protected status.

This week, the United States resumed deportation flights to Haiti under the public health order.

Nearly 28,000 Haitians have been intercepted by the Border Patrol along the United States-Mexico border in the current fiscal year, which ends on Sept.

Despite the public health measure, along some stretches of the border the United States has not been expelling migrant families with young children because Mexico has refused to accept them.

“There is just such confusion among migrants and asylum seekers, about what the situation is on the border and how they can best seek protection,” said Robyn Barnard, the senior advocacy counsel for refugee protection at Human Rights First.

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