The Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday confirmed that some Haitian migrants are being released into the interior of the United States – despite a stern warning to migrants from DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Monday that their efforts “will not succeed.”
In response to the surge in Haitian migrants, which has seen more than 14,000 migrants camped under the bridge in Del Rio, with reports of tens of thousands more on the way, DHS has emphasized that migrants are being removed on removal flights under Title 42 public health protections. DHS has ramped up deportation flights to Haiti as part of its strategy to combat the crisis.
“DHS continues to expel migrants under CDC’s Title 42 authority,” a spokesperson said. “Those who cannot be expelled under Title 42 and do not have a legal basis to remain are placed in expedited or full removal proceedings.”
Title 42 was introduced under the Trump administration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and allows for the rapid removal of migrants. However, the Biden administration has only been applying the order to single adults and to some migrant families — with only about 19% of families removed via the order in August. Unaccompanied minors are not being removed via Title 42, and are instead processed into the U.S. into the custody of sponsors.
On Monday, in relation to the Haitian surge, Mayorkas had a stern warning for migrants who were thinking they would be able to get into the U.S.
“If you come to the United States illegally, you will be returned. Your journey will not succeed and you will be endangering your life and your family’s lives,” Mayorkas said. “This administration is committed to developing safe, orderly and humane pathways for migration. This is not the way to do it.”
However, the Associated Press reported that some of the Haitians who had surged to the border at Del Rio were being released into the interior rather than expelled.
A DHS spokesperson told Fox that those who were not being removed are either placed in “alternatives to detention,” detained at an ICE facility, or released into the U.S. with either a notice to appear in court or a notice to report to an ICE office.
“The document an individual receives is dependent on facility space and resources available to process,” the spokesperson said.
The DHS statement noted that Border Patrol will collect information such as fingerprints, phone numbers and an address, while also running background checks.
Meanwhile, Border Patrol sources told Fox News that migrants are mostly being released with the notices to report at an ICE office rather than the notices to appear.
The preference for NTRs, which take just 20 minutes, rather than the NTAs, which take more than an hour have been preferred during the migrant crisis along the southern border as it allows migrants to be processed quicker.
Those who are being deported have also been causing problems for the administration. On Tuesday, a bus transporting migrants within the U.S. was taken over, with the migrants fleeing before later being captured.
Later Tuesday, migrants who had been deported to Port-au-Prince caused two separate disturbances that resulted in injury to three ICE officers.