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Confined to US border camp, Haitian migrants wade to Mexico for supplies

Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

They prefer Coke and orange juice, he said — no tortillas.

Migrants said feeding their families daily at the camp costs at least 1,000 pesos, about $50 dollars; singles get by on about $20. Many returning to the camp Monday afternoon said they were running out of cash and had contacted relatives in the U.S. and Haiti for help.

The migrants had heard about U.S. deportation flights to Haiti restarting last week, and wondered aloud whether they, too, would be deported if they stayed at the camp.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, in Del Rio on Monday, said most of the Haitians removed from the local encampment have been expelled under the authority of Title 42, a pandemic policy started by former President Donald Trump and continued by President Joe Biden.

Haitian migrants held at the camp said U.S. immigration officials had issued them numbered tickets. When their numbers were called, officials told migrants they would be reunited with relatives in the U.S. even as they were zip cuffed and loaded into buses to be deported.

“They say they’re going to send you to your family in the U.S. It’s a lie,” said Stanley Moise, 25, a fish store worker in a black Puma cap, Adidas T-shirt and shorts who said he saw fellow migrants loaded onto buses.

 

Moise spent his last pesos Monday on six chicken dinners and water for his family, including 2-year-old daughter Isadora.

“No person in 2021 should live in a situation like this. Each day is worse,” he said.

He planned to cross again Tuesday to get relatives to send money for food because, he said, “I have to help my family survive.”

Some Haitians said they were considering moving their families from the camp to a shelter in Acuña on Monday, afraid that if they didn’t, they would be deported.

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