(Houston) Une dizaine de milliers de migrants, dont une majorité d’Haïtiens, campaient vendredi sous un pont à la frontière sud des États-Unis, une situation de crise humanitaire qui place le gouvernement de Joe Biden en difficulté.
Ces migrants sont arrivés à Del Rio, au Texas, en traversant le fleuve Rio Grande. De moins de 2000 en début de semaine, ils sont passés à 10 500 jeudi soir, a déclaré sur Twitter le maire de cette petite ville frontalière, Bruno Lozano.
Ils « sont principalement originaires d’Haïti […] They are waiting to be stopped by the border guards, ”he explained in a video posted on Twitter to begin the process of staying for accreditation.
“We need immediate action from the government,” the Democratic councilor said, stressing the health and safety risks posed by this makeshift camp, where many families with children have flocked.
Border guards promised in a statement that they had increased their numbers to deal with the situation in an “unsafe, humanitarian and orderly” situation.
The migrants were placed in the shade of the bridge to “prevent heat-related diseases.” Drinking water, towels and portable toilets were made available to them, they explained.
The press release said that once observed, “the majority of adults will come alone and many families will be turned away under the health rule” to control the spread of the virus at the onset of the infection.
However, a federal judge on Thursday ordered the government not to deport families in an environment that could complicate the work of officers facing historic migration surges on a Mexican border.
More than 200,000 immigrants were arrested in August, according to the latest official figures. This brings the number of migrants arrested at the border to more than 1.3 million since Joe Biden arrived at the White House, the highest level in 20 years.
Republican opposition President Biden has accused the fight against illegal immigration of triggering a “migration crisis” by easing the actions of his predecessor, Donald Trump.
The situation in Del Rio gave him new arguments. After getting there, Republican Senator Ted Cruz condemned the “disaster caused by Joe Biden.”
According to him, immigrants see themselves under the bridge because President Joe Biden made the political decision to cancel deportation flights to Haiti, which escalated the chaos on the island of the Andalusia after President Juanell Moss was assassinated in July.
Nationalists from this poor and unstable country are still a minority coming to the United States, but their numbers have been increasing for months.
Nearly 6,800 Haitians were arrested on the southern border in August, or only 4% of the total immigrants, but more than in July (5,000) or May (2,700).
Many fled their country after the 2010 earthquake (which killed more than 200,000) and settled in Latin America, especially Brazil. But for thousands of people heading north, finding work and renewing their residence permits has become difficult.
“I want to continue my journey because I have a sister in Miami and the Netherlands,” said 40-year-old Haitian Dominguez Paul, who lived for five years in Chile, where he met with AFP in Tapasula, Mexico.
Realizing their difficulties, several Democratic voices were raised to ask Joe Biden’s administration to resolve the situation in Del Rio quickly.
“These Haitian immigrants have already suffered a lot during our perilous journey to our borders,” tweeted Congressman Ilhan Omar, the party’s left-wing figure. “The lack of urgency to come to their aid is dangerous,” he denounced.
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