United States: on the other side of Del Rio, the plight of Haitian migrants stranded in Mexico

Haitian migrants stranded at the border between Mexico and Texas, in Del Rio, September 18, 2021. AP - Eric Gay

Text by: RFI Follow

3 min

On the border between Texas and Mexico, nearly 15,000 people - mostly Haitians - are now stranded in a camp under the bridge that leads to the city of Del Rio.

Blocked because the American administration announced the resumption of deportations to Haiti and that the borders, on the American and Mexican side, are now closed there.

RFI went to meet these Haitian migrants.

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With our special correspondent in Ciudad Acuña,

Thomas Harms

Alex Rosier is desperate, sitting on the edge of the dike leading to the American side of the Rio Grande river.

In the Del Rio camp

since Wednesday, he had gone out this Saturday, September 18 to look for food. And he learned that, faced with the influx of migrants from Haiti, the United States would resume deportations to his country: “ 

Deportation, I don't want it. It's not for me. If I am deported, I will die. Haiti is over.

We kill the president

, the bandits are in power. Imagine!

 "

This mason leaves his wife and daughter on the other side of the Rio Grande, in the Del Rio camp.

He is reluctant to return to Brazil, where he has lived since 2013. He has not yet made up his mind.

In front of the river, like him, Mamouna Ismaël is angry.

She went through eight countries to get there.

She had spent two years in Chile before deciding, two months ago, to go up to Texas: “ 

We're afraid to cross.

If we go, they will deport us to Haiti.

So there is no point in crossing.

We are scared.

 "

The flow stopped for the evening Haitians now know that the border is closed.

They have no choice but to go there say he pic.twitter.com/7pAdgCCJS4

- thomas harms (@thomasharms_RFI) September 18, 2021

Many of them make this choice: stay in Ciudad Acuña, Mexico.

This is the case with Judson Auguste, who also made a point: “ 

Well, we have to stay here.

So we're going to look for a job.

We can try again if the United States reopens its border.

We will go.

 “Very present on WhatsApp groups, he will warn other Haitian migrants that there is no point in hurrying now to arrive in northern Mexico.

 The city's Democratic mayor, Bruno Lozano, and Republican elected official August Pfluger, representative in Washington for the 11th District of Texas, held a joint press conference on Saturday.

August Pfluger spoke directly to Joe Biden and lamented “ 

that the president and his administration could not foresee

 ” this situation.

“President Biden, if you're listening, we need you to tell every country in the world that this border is closed.

(...) The policies put in place in 2019 and 2020 (under Donald Trump) must be put in place.

(...) Close the border and do your job.

"

Migration crisis in Del Rio: “President Biden, close the border and do your job.

"

Thomas harms

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  • United States

  • Mexico

  • Haiti

  • Immigration

  • International Migration

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