Haitian migrants stranded at the U.S. border cross the Rio Grande River to the United States with supplies retrieved from Ciudad Acuna, Mexico, Wednesday, September 22.
READ MORE: The United States ramped up its Haitian migrant deportation flights Wednesday from the state of Texas back to Haiti, even as thousands of other Haitians were being allowed into the U.S. on the promise to appear at an immigration office within 60 days.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the U.S. was deporting Haitians to their homeland under a health code provision, citing the coronavirus pandemic as a reason to clear the border as quickly as possible.
These deportees were being sent home without the opportunity to request asylum proceedings, while others are being registered and permitted, at least for weeks, to stay on U.S. soil. An estimated 14,000 Haitians have flocked from Mexico to the border city of Del Rio, Texas, but it was unclear why some were deported and others were not.
Thousands of the Haitian migrants have been released into the U.S. in recent days, according to an Associated Press report, expanding on a VOA account Tuesday that several hundred had been freed.
Many of the migrants had been living in Chile, Brazil and other South American countries after fleeing the rubble of a 2010 earthquake in Haiti. But they trekked to the U.S. border near Del Rio based on erroneous social media accounts that a crossing there was open. U.S. officials have repeatedly urged migrants to stay where they are. (AFP/VOA)