The United States has started flying Haitian migrants back to their home country after more than 12,000 illegal immigrants crossed the southern border from Mexico and camped out under the international bridge in Del Rio, Texas, last week and over the weekend. Most single adults are being deported, while some families are being released into the U.S. with notices to appear at asylum hearings, which often go unanswered.
According to The Associated Press, at least 320 migrants were taken to Port-au-Prince on Sunday, with six more flights expected on Tuesday. Beginning on Wednesday, the U.S. will operate seven expulsion flights per day, an official told the outlet. The deportation flights will primarily depart from San Antonio, but authorities may add El Paso, as well.
NBC News reported that President Joe Biden’s administration will prioritize single adults for deportation, as well as some families, Department of Homeland Security officials said. The administration will also allow unaccompanied children and some families to stay, releasing them into the interior United States with dates for asylum hearings.
Officials said they are testing the illegal immigrants for COVID-19 prior to deportation.
“All passengers were medically screened prior to boarding the flights. Additionally, migrants and staff were provided with and required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) (i.e., masks) prior to, and during, the flight, and to be cleared for travel were required to have a temperature of less than 100.4 degrees and to not exhibit Covid-related symptoms,” a DHS spokeswoman said regarding three flights that departed on Sunday.
On Monday morning, Fox News’ Bill Melugin tweeted that migrants have begun crossing back into Mexico in an effort to avoid deportation, leaving behind conditions reminiscent of a “third world refugee camp.”
“NEW: We are back underneath the international bridge in Del Rio, TX, this morning, where up to 12,000 migrants are still camped out after crossing into the US illegally. Conditions here are similar to a third world refugee camp,” Melugin tweeted. “@TxDPS has secured area while BP works. @FoxNews.”
Melugin tweeted on Sunday that “single men will be expelled via Title 42, but most family units will be processed and released into US” with a notice to appear, according to U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz.
Last week, the Fox News reporter tweeted stunning aerial images of the deteriorating scene in Del Rio.
“BREAKING: Our drone is back over the international bridge in Del Rio, TX,” Melugin wrote on Twitter. “Per source, the number of migrants waiting to be processed has now swelled to approx 8,200. It was 4,000 yesterday AM. Doubled in one day. BP overwhelmed, & I’m told situation is “out of control” @FoxNews.”