Workers remove debris from the site where a temporary border migrant camp was located along the International Bridge in Del Rio (Texas), U.S. September 24, 2020.
Alejandro Mayorkas, Department of Homeland Security Secretary, said that no migrants are still at the border camp in Del Rio, Texas. This is where thousands of mostly Haitian nationals gathered in recent hours.
This announcement comes at a time when the Biden administration is being widely criticized for its handling of increased migration at the U.S.–Mexico border.
According to Mayorkas, nearly 30,000 migrants have been encountered in Del Rio by U.S. officials since September 9. One time, 15,000 mostly Haitian migrants camped under the bridge linking Del Rio and Ciudad Acuna in Mexico. Yesterday, the administration announced that less than 5,000 people were still at the camp.
Mayorkas stated at the White House that "as of this morning there are no more migrants in the camp beneath the Del Rio International Bridge."
Mayorkas reports that approximately 2,000 Haitian citizens have been returned to Haiti via 17 repatriation flights, organized by the Department of Homeland Security.
Mayorkas stated that approximately 8,000 Mexicans have returned home voluntarily to Mexico and that over 5,000 are currently being processed by the Department of Homeland Security in order to determine whether they should be expelled under Title 42 or placed in immigration removal proceedings.
An estimated 12,400 migrants will have their cases heard by an Immigration Judge who will decide if they will be deported or stay in the U.S.
Title 42, which was first introduced by Donald Trump during the outbreak of the pandemic in 2016, denies certain migrants the right to apply for asylum. Mayorkas supported the Biden administration's use to send Haitians back home.
"We do this because we have a public health emergency. Mayorkas stated that Title 42 does not have an immigration policy. He also noted that Title 42 is not only applicable to Haitian migrants. In August, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determined that Title 42 would be maintained until it has determined that Covid-19 cannot be brought across the U.S. border.