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Biden Administration Plans Mass Deportation Of Haitian Migrants In Del Rio, Texas

Migrants walk across the Rio Grande River carrying food and other supplies back to a makeshift encampment under the International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas, on Friday.
Migrants walk across the Rio Grande River carrying food and other supplies back to a makeshift encampment under the International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas, on Friday.

The Department of Homeland Security will begin deporting planes full of Haitian migrants as soon as Sunday to discourage more border-crossers from streaming into a camp in South Texas.

The plan, outlined by the Department of Homeland Security, is meant to relieve the overflow at the South Texas border town of Del Rio and deter more Haitians from trying to come to the United States illegally.

Human rights groups and some Democratic lawmakers opposed the plan.

The administration said it will "accelerate the pace and increase the capacity" of deportations to Haiti as well as other countries in the next 72 hours. The plan does not detail the number of people on each plane or how migrants will be processed before being placed on a flight. The administration did note that families with children will be subject to expulsion, a point that had been contested in court earlier this week.

In May, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas announced an 18-month temporary protected status for Haitians living in the U.S., citing "serious security concerns, social unrest, an increase in human rights abuses, crippling poverty, and lack of basic resources, which are exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic." The status provides a work permit and stay of deportation to foreign nationals who apply and qualify.

The number of migrants in Del Rio has surged in the past week. Del Rio Mayor Bruno Lozano said more than 14,000 Haitians are camping out under a bridge and awaiting processing, CNN reported.

To alleviate the pressure on resources and the growing surge in Del Rio, the Department of Homeland Security said that it has closed the port, beefed up staffing by more than 400, and that it would send additional staff if necessary.

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