MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Mass deportations are underway for more than 12,000 migrants living in a makeshift camp near the border in Del Rio, Texas.
Most of them are Haitians who traveled to South America several years ago. They came to the U.S. border recently after hearing rumors that they would be allowed to cross.READ MORE: Parkland Mom Remembers, Honors Memory Of Hero Son, Peter Wang, Who Sacrificed Self To Save Others
Their arrival in Del Rio has put pressure on the Biden administration.
More than 300 Haitians arrived back in their home country Sunday, and more deportation flights are planned this week.
“When we got to the United States, they put us in detention for four days,” explained one migrant deported to Haiti. “Four days without brushing our teeth. Four days without shower.”
With a section of the U.S.-Mexico border closed, many of the migrants tried to cross the Rio Grande over the weekend. But they were confronted by border patrol agents on horseback.
”I don’t want to be deported. If I am deported now, I’ll die in Haiti. Why? Because there’s no security in Haiti,” said 36-year-old Haitian migrant Alex Rosiere.READ MORE: Former BSO Employee Julio Chang Faces Charges In Capitol Attack
Val Verde County Sheriff Joe Frank Martinez wants the federal government to do more.
“It takes too long to process an asylum claim. The system has been broke for 40 or 50 years,” he said. “It’s used as a political football and you know from one agenda to the next.”
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said the U.S. government is working to move thousands of the migrants every day to processing centers.
“We have sent a very clear message early on in light of the fact that we are in the midst of a pandemic that the border is not open, and people should not take the perilous journey here,” he said.
In that interview, Secretary Mayorkas was asked if there’s a contradiction because the U.S. is welcoming refugees from Afghanistan, but deporting Haitians in need.MORE NEWS: Florida Fire Rescue Chief Fired For Not Forcing Firefighter Vaccinations
Mayorkas said the afghan nationals are being screened and vetted, and that is different than simply showing up at the border.