An immigration expert in Del Rio, Texas, says all of the Haitian illegal immigrants he has interviewed among the 15,000 huddled at the U.S.-Mexico border in squalid conditions have lived “pretty good” lives in Chile or Brazil for the past several years.
“I’ve never met one yet who is actually coming directly from Haiti. But they will probably apply for asylum on the basis of [problems] in Haiti,” said Todd Bensman, senior national security fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies and author of “America’s Covert Border War.”
The reporting by Bensman, who has interviewed migrants for more than a year in his traveling through Guatemala and Mexico, was featured by New York Post columnist Miranda Devine.
Bensman said the Haitians in Del Rio were “living a pretty good life [in South America] but they are seeing an opportunity to improve their situation.”
The Haitians, according to Bensman, “say they heard Joe Biden was opening the border up so they came.”
Devine said the Department of Homeland Security has been placed “in an impossible situation,” noting two senior officials resigned in the past week amid the influx of Afghan refugees and CNN is reporting infighting at the overwhelmed agency.
One migrant told Bensman that Chile was “1,000 times better than Haiti.”
“But America is 1 million times better.”
Bensman reported from the border Sunday night:
Audio not so great but here’s a flavor of this thing from Mexico pic.twitter.com/WAqpRREtH7
— Todd Bensman (@BensmanTodd) September 20, 2021
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) September 20, 2021
The Fox News Channel’s Bill Melugin reported that most of the Haitian families will be processed and released into the U.S.
NEW: U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz says there are currently 12,600 migrants under the bridge in Del Rio. Told me single adult men will be expelled via Title 42, but most family units will be processed and released into US w/ NTA (notice to appear). @FoxNews pic.twitter.com/JhaS3YB4pX
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) September 19, 2021
On Thursday, the Biden administration shut down a Fox News drone flying over the U.S.-Mexico border after its cameras showed the thousands of Haitians gathered there. The same day, Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, charging the administration had abandoned the border, announced he is using state resources to close ports of entry, including the National Guard.
After the crisis grew over the weekend, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas came to Del Rio on Monday and warned against anyone making plans to come illegally.
“If you come to the United States illegally, you will be returned. Your journey will not succeed and you will be endangering your life and your family’s lives,” Mayorkas said. “This administration is committed to developing safe, orderly and humane pathways for migration. This is not the way to do it.”
Mayorkas said the administration is securing additional transportation for return flights to Haiti and other places, hoping to have one to three flights per day.
Authorities are very concerned, he said, “that Haitians who are taking this irregular migration path are receiving false information that the border is open or that Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is available.”
“I want to make sure that it is known that this is not the way to come to the United States. That is false information,” Mayorkas said. “Irregular migration poses a serious security risk to the migrants themselves. Trying to enter the United States illegally is not worth the tragedy, the money or the effort.”
Meanwhile, the administration is facing accusations from its allies on the left that Border Patrol agents are mistreating the Haitians in their effort to enforce the law.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Twitter that reports “of the mistreatment of Haitian migrants fleeing violence and devastation from natural disasters are deeply troubling, including the inappropriate use of what appear to be whips by Border Patrol officers on horseback to intimidate migrants.”
The Border Patrol released a statement pointing out that agents “use their reins for a lot of reasons.”
“Primarily it’s used to steer the horse, but agents will also spin them sometimes to deter people from getting too close to the horse,” the statement said.
“We are not aware of anyone being struck with the reins.”
Please join me in calling on @POTUS to immediately denounce and cease the horrendous and inhumane whipping of Haitians by our Border Patrol agents.
PLEASE RT TO CONDEMN THIS. pic.twitter.com/5vOgbOzGlZ
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) September 20, 2021
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