It’s being called the largest expulsion of migrants by the U.S. in decades.
This morning, the first group of the more than 10,000 migrants who were seeking asylum under a Texas bridge has arrived back in Haiti.
The U.S. is flying Haitians camped underneath that bridge in the Texas border town of Del Rio back to their homeland and trying to block others from crossing the border from Mexico.
Planes were seen leaving the Del Rio airport for Haiti Sunday.
Border Patrol Agent Brandon Judd said, “We’ve never seen anything like this. This is completely and totally out of the norm of anything we’ve ever seen.”
Crowds so massive, they could be seen from far away.
The Haitian migrants, who had already been living in Central and South America before converging on the border, do not want to return to their home country, which has been rocked by political violence and natural disasters, like the recent earthquake.
The Biden administration expects to transfer 3,000 of the migrants away from the bridge by the end of today, saying they’ll use a Trump-era health policy, which permitted the expulsion of migrants without allowing them to seek asylum.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said, “We have authorities by reason of that special circumstance and we will exercise those authorities.”
The Haitian government does not want them back. The New York Times reports Haiti is asking the U.S. for a “humanitarian moratorium” on the deportations.
But overnight, Mayorkas announced 600 more border agents are being sent to Texas to expedite the expulsions.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz blames the White House for triggering the crisis by announcing the suspension of Haitian deportations on September 8.
Border officials are now patrolling the river and stopping migrants from crossing into the U.S. while officials try to prevent a humanitarian disaster under the bridge.
“We are bringing additional resources to assist with security, migrant care, transportation, and processing,” said Border Patrol official Raul Ortiz. “We are providing food, water, portable toilets, towels, emergency medical technicians are available for first aid.”
The Haitian migrant crisis comes as the border has already been swamped by the highest number of migrants in 20 years, reaching over 200,000 in both July and August.
Meanwhile, the Senate parliamentarian has blocked the Democrats’ push to include a pathway to legal status for illegal migrants in their $3.5 trillion social spending plan – a big blow to the party’s goal of immigration reform.