Las Vegas Review-Journal
■ U.S. closes part of Texas border and begins flying Haitians home.
Planes take about 320 away; more flights set
DEL RIO, Texas — The U.S. flew Haitians camped in a Texas border town back to their homeland Sunday and tried blocking others from crossing the border from Mexico in a massive show of force that signaled the beginning of what could be one of America’s swiftest, large-scale expulsions of migrants or refugees in decades.
More than 320 migrants arrived in Port-au-prince on three flights, and Haiti said six flights were expected Tuesday. In all, U.S. authorities moved to expel many of the more 12,000 migrants camped around a bridge in Del Rio, Texas, after crossing from Ciudad Acuña, Mexico.
About a dozen Texas Department of Public Safety vehicles lined up near the bridge and river where Haitians have been crossing from Mexico for almost three weeks.
When the border was closed Sunday, the migrants initially found other ways to cross nearby until they were confronted by federal and state law enforcement. An Associated
Press reporter saw Haitian immigrants still crossing the river into the U.S. about 1.5 miles east of the previous spot, but they were eventually stopped by Border Patrol agents on horseback and Texas law enforcement officials.
Agents yelled at the migrants who were crossing in the waist-deep river to get out of the water. The several hundred who had successfully crossed and were sitting along
the river bank on the U.S. side were ordered to the Del Rio camp.
Migrant Charlie Jean had crossed back into Ciudad Acuña from the camps to get food for his wife and three daughters, ages 2, 5 and 12. He was waiting on the Mexican side for a restaurant to bring him rice.
“We need food for every day. I can go without, but my kids can’t,” said Jean, who had been living in Chile for five years