World

Haitians at Texas border urged to give up amid ‘inhumane’ deportations by US

Authorities in Mexico are urging Haitians at the Texas border trying to reach the United States to give up.

They encouraged them to instead return to Mexico's border with Guatemala and request asylum there.

Up to 14,000 people, mostly Haitians, have been camped north of the Rio Grande river this month, though hundreds have turned back to Mexico after the US began deporting planes full of people back to Haiti.

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Thousands of Haitian refugees fill the banks of the Rio Grande desperately seeking asylum in America.

The Caribbean nation is reeling from the assassination of its president, natural disasters, the coronavirus pandemic and gang violence.

It follows outrage at images of a US border guard on horseback brandishing a whip against Haitian migrants near their camp.

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Pressure is growing on US President Joe Biden after the US special envoy to Haiti resigned in protest at his administration's deportations.

Mr Biden's administration has used a policy enacted by Donald Trump's administration in March 2020 to restrict immigration in an attempt to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

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Last week a federal judge ruled the restriction was improper and gave the government two weeks to cease, but Mr Biden's administration has appealed.

Daniel Foote, the US special envoy to Haiti, said he was resigning over the "inhumane" expulsions of Haitian migrants.

A Haitian migrant pleads with a Mexican police officer blocking access to the Rio Grande river so that immigrants can't use it to cross the U.S.-Mexico border from Ciudad Acuña, Mexico
PIC:AP

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A Haitian migrant pleads with a Mexican police officer blocking access to the Rio Grande river so that immigrants cannot use it to cross the US-Mexico border from Ciudad Acuña, Mexico
PIC:AP

In his letter to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, he said he was stepping down immediately "with deep disappointment and apologies to those seeking crucial changes."

"I will not be associated with the United States inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees and illegal immigrants to Haiti, a country where American officials are confined to secure compounds because of the danger posed by armed gangs to daily life," he wrote.

"Our policy approach to Haiti remains deeply flawed, and my policy recommendations have been ignored and dismissed, when not edited to project a narrative different from my own."

Mexican police stand guard near the Rio Grande river in Ciudad Acuna, Mexico
PIC:AP

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Mexican police stand guard near the Rio Grande river in Ciudad Acuna, Mexico. Pic: AP

Migrants seeking refuge in the U.S., cross the Rio Grande river from Mexico towards Del Rio, Texas, U.S., as seen from Ciudad Acuna, Mexico

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Migrants seeking refuge in the US cross the Rio Grande river from Mexico towards Del Rio, Texas,

So far nearly 2,000 migrants have been returned to Haiti, while almost 4,000 people have been taken into custody, the Department of Homeland security (DHS) said on Thursday.

Some 3,000 people remain in the camp in the Del Rio area of Texas, opposite Ciudad Acuna, the DHS added.

Border Patrol Agents with an inflatable boat help migrants seeking refuge to cross into the U.S., near the banks of the Rio Grande river in Del Rio, Texas

Image:
Border Patrol Agents with an inflatable boat help migrants seeking refuge to cross into the US, near the banks of the Rio Grande river in Del Rio, Texas

Some Haitians will be allowed to remain in the US temporarily while they seek asylum or under another claim of residency.

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