The Biden administration announced Saturday that it would begin the mass expulsion of thousands of Haitians who have gathered in Texas border cities. The desperate migrants began amassing at the US-Mexico border in recent weeks after fleeing volatile conditions in Haiti. Haitian migrants have been traveling through Central and South America to try and reach the US border for years. Immigration lawyer Edgar Rodríguez told the Associated Press that he believes misinformation and false rumors about policies led to the sudden surge of people seeking entry to the United States.
“[The Department of Homeland Security] will secure additional transportation to accelerate the pace and increase the capacity of removal flights to Haiti and other destinations in the hemisphere within the next 72 hours,” Marsha Espinosa, an agency spokesperson told the Washington Post.
According to the AP, the federal government plans on expelling Haitians on five to eight flights a day. Local officials estimate that more than 13,000 Haitians are at the migrant camp. Trash is piling up, and at least two women have given birth. Even though the Biden administration has taken a hardline stance on immigration, choosing prompt deportation instead of the opportunity to settle in the country, right-wing pundits are fear mongering about the migrants amassing at the border.
The situation awaiting Haitians back home is increasingly dire. In July, Haitian President Jovenel Moise was assassinated and prime minister Ariel Henry has been implicated in the killing. Then in August, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the Southern part of the country, killing more than 2,000 people. The island nation of 10 million is beset by violence, hunger, and chaos—and is still in the process of recovering from the 7.0 earthquake that devastated the country in 2010. Immigrant advocates have condemned the Biden administration’s decision to send migrants home. As Steve Forester, immigration policy coordinator at the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, told the New York Times: “It is cruel and wrong to return anyone to Haiti now.”