Where will Haitians go from here?

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A bulldozer is seen next to a mound of debris while crews clear an area where migrants, many from Haiti, were encamped along the Del Rio International Bridge, Sept. 24, in Del Rio, Texas. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

By J. K. Schmid
Special to the AFRO

The purge of tens of thousands of migrants from the town of Del Rio is complete, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Sept. 24.

Photos at the scene show the bridge, where the migrants sheltered, totally evacuated. Heavy equipment and work crews are now bulldozing and raking the scene of any evidence that a humanitarian crisis ever occurred.

Del Rio and DHS official accounts vary, but estimates on the ground placed 14,000 migrants at the small Texas border over the last week. They’re all gone.

DHS reports 3,900 Haitians have been relocated while remanded into U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody.

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DHS and CBP have not said where these migrants will be held for processing, but CBP announced that it is opening soft-sided (tent) facilities in Laredo, Texas. The three closest cities to Del Rio are San Antonio, Nuevo Laredo and Laredo. Each city is 150 miles away, a three-hour bus ride through the desert.

The Laredo facility has a 500 person capacity.

Questions remain about who is responsible for the savagery and brutality migrants endured at the border. En masse deportations in violation of international law and common conceptions of human rights and dignity moved 50-plus Democrats to raise the issue last week. This week, outcry came from photos and videos of CBP officers on horseback charging into migrants and whipping them as migrants struggled to bring food back to their encampment.

Now, in the immediate aftermath, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) is demanding answers. 

“The Biden Administration has promised the American people a humane approach to our borders,” Mr. Thompson wrote in a letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Friday. “The handling of the asylum seekers in Del Rio does not live up to that commitment. The Department of Homeland Security must do better.”

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