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The US begins to deport Haitians held on the bridge at the border

Del Río (Texas, USA), Sep 19 (EFE) .- The United States began this Sunday to deport dozens of Haitians held in a makeshift camp under a bridge in the town of Del Río, in southern Texas , after a massive border crossing. An agent from the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), who did not reveal his name, informed Efe that this Sunday three flights departed from Texas in the direction of Haiti with “dozens “of nationals of that Caribbean country. Specifically, two flights departed from the San Antonio city airport, and another from the Laredo border. MESSAGE TO MIGRANTS “We hope this sends a clear message to other illegal immigrants: if they come without justification, we will deport them,” said this agent after parking a large van at a migrant shelter near the border. That shelter, which in recent days had welcomed some thirty migrants, was completely empty this Sunday, a situation that local volunteers related to the beginning of the deportations of Haitians in Del Río. In the last few days, some 13,000 migrants, mostly Haitians, were camping under the international bridge that connects Ciudad Acuña (Mexico) and Del Río. According to several videos recorded by journalists from the Mexican side to which Efe had access, the area near the river has been cut off by the US authorities, who have displaced the migrants to another nearby makeshift camp. From the US side of the border, in Del Río, it is impossible to access the camp due to security measures and it is not possible to see what the situation is on the bridge, since the only way to enter it is from Mexico. Several local media reported this Sunday that Texas Department of Public Safety vehicles lined up near the bridge and the river to prevent migrants from crossing through a shallower area that Haitians have been passing through in recent days. USA A volunteer from the Val Verde Border Humanitarian Coalition told Efe that the police on the Mexican side are not letting more migrants pass, who will now be trapped in Ciudad Acuña, a “very dangerous” city for them. “In addition to increasing the pace of deportations, now Mexico is also preventing the arrival of Haitians,” he said. FEW HAITIANS ENTER At noon, just over a dozen Haitians were waiting for a bus heading to San Antonio at the makeshift Del Rio station, located next to a car wash. With their faces tired after sleeping for several days in the open in the camp, a group of Haitian nationals prayed in front of several journalists asking God to protect them during the remainder of their journey in the US An eight-year-pregnant woman months, Mahilda, pointed out to Efe that it is “a blessing” that her little one can be born in the United States. Another of the pregnant women in this group suffered heatstroke due to the high temperatures in Del Río, which this Sunday registered 37 degrees Celsius, although she later recovered after being treated by volunteers. REINFORCEMENTS AT THE BORDER Migrants have been crossing into the United States since last Tuesday and have overwhelmed the immigration authorities, who improvised the camp while waiting to process their asylum applications. To address this situation, CBP has dispatched nearly 400 additional agents and officials to the Del Rio sector with the goal of handling those requests with greater speed. The undocumented are sleeping rough and lack basic services, conditions that have created a new humanitarian emergency on the southern border. The Republican opposition has already blamed US President Joe Biden as responsible for the situation on the border, who this Friday ordered the temporary closure of border bridges in Del Rio. The US also closed a second border bridge, called the Amistad Dam, located on the outskirts of the city. Washington ordered to divert all traffic that normally passes through these two bridges to the crossing at Eagle Pass, bordering Piedras Negras (Mexico) and about 57 miles (almost 100 kilometers) east of Del Río. Alex Segura Lozano (c) EFE Agency

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