Del Rio

   - a Can of Worms

But in recent days up to some 15,000 migrants mainly Haitians (but other nationalities including Cubans, Venezuelans, and Nicaraguans) crossed the river over the span of a week, by wading over a dam on the river and were then blocked from moving forward . So they made camp under the international bridge on the US side thus creating yet another crisis and for anti-Biden critics a reason to make a lot of noise.

President Biden has three big handicaps at present: the aftermath of the Afghanistan withdrawal; the increasing COVID crisis; and opposition to his big 3.5 trillion dollar infrastructure bill.

President Biden promised a more humane approach to immigration as compared to his predecessor Donald Trump, but he has fought to stem the tide of migrants crossing the border since taking office in January. On the one hand to appease the hard-liners with authorization for Title 42. Plane loads of different nationalities and recently Haitians are being deported to their homeland .In contradiction at the same time US immigration are releasing 'numerous' migrants not just in southern cities but deep into the interior of the country in a revolving door system giving concern that it is a free pass into the US . With destinations like Chicago, Denver, Mediapolis, Yakima, Washington and Harrisburg PA migrants fall into the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and many migrants are often later released.

[The then President Trump enacted the health measure known as Title 42 allowed for quick expulsion of asylum seekers to prevent the spread of COVID. President Biden continued the policy but exempting children and some families.] The photo below shows migrants being returned to Haiti.

Del Rio is the 'volcanic eruption of the moment' and it is mainly the Haitians who are in the line of fire. Haiti is the poorest country in the western world. It suffered a catastrophic earth quake in 2010, a presidential assassination and another earth quake this year. The last ten years has seen a diaspora of Haitians to South and Central America especially Brazil and Chile and as those areas were hit with economic down turns caused by COVID the Haitians began to turn their gaze northwards to where they always seem to eventually desire to arrive, the USA. Their concentration in Del Rio happened the Hispanic way, invitation by word of mouth between migrants. Now is the time. Comments have it that there are some 20,000 Haitians in northern Colombia, 1500 in Panama and 3,000 in Peru that are gazing northwards. Will the threat of deportation deter them from traveling north in large numbers? If they have lived a significant time in other countries this does not give them asylum seeker status in the USA.

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29 September 2021

Tag 1
Think Global

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Social Justice

Source Name
Fr Ben McKenna SM

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