A growing crisis on the border near Del Rio, Texas has the Biden administration facing criticism from both ends of the political spectrum — but both sides disagree on how the president should handle the problem.
Concern continues to grow as thousands of migrants huddle under a bridge, seeking shelter from the sweltering South Texas heat and wading in the Rio Grande hoping to cross into the United States.
Local authorities there are calling for the border crossing in Del Rio to close and for the Biden administration to take action.
The vast majority of the nearly 15,000 migrants there are from Haiti and because of natural disasters and political crises in that country this year, local Haitian American Organizations say they’re stretched way too thin to send any kind of relief for those migrants.
“I think the only entity that can do that is government,” said Charlie Hinton of the Haiti Action Committee. “You know, our little group does not have those resources.”
Hinton and Ustadi Kadiri are with the Haiti Action Committee in Oakland. They’re joining with authorities in Texas in calling on the Biden administration to do something.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is sending more than 400 border patrol agents there in a statement writing in part, “Our borders are not open, and people should not make the dangerous journey.”
Most of the migrants in Texas left Haiti for South America years ago after the massive earthquake in 2010. So, they don’t qualify for any refugee status that could be awarded after this year’s presidential assasination, massive earthquake and hurricane.
The Biden administration says it plans deportation flights for the group back to Haiti.
“You’ve been gone for five years, you’ve got a family there that’s sleeping outside,” said Kadiri. “And there is a COVID problem, would you wanna go back?”
Kadiri and Hinton say the migrants should be awarded temporary protected status and allowed to enter the United States.
So far, that’s not an option the administration has said it’s considering.
Source: NBC Bay Area