Amid Haitian migrant wave, UN refugee agency condemns 'mass expulsions'

More than 14,000 migrants were under the Del Rio bridge last week

Amid a massive Haitian migrant wave that saw more than 14,000 migrants camped under a bridge at one point last week, the United Nations is demanding an end to "mass expulsions of individuals" and that the Biden administration end Title 42.

"I was shocked by images of the deplorable conditions beneath the concrete highway overpass in Del Rio, Texas, where more than 14,000 Haitians had gathered after arduous journeys from a number of countries in the Americas," UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said in a statement.

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The Biden administration has been scrambling to deal with the crisis, surging resources, Border Patrol agents and increasing deportation flights – where it is removing single adults via Title 42 public health protections instituted in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

However, migrant families are typically being processed into the U.S. as the Biden administration has only been removing a limited number of families under the order.

The United Nations office, however, backed calls from liberal groups for the Biden administration to abolish "mass expulsions" via Title 42 altogether – a call it has made before. The office claimed that the order violated "international norms."

"The summary, mass expulsions of individuals currently under way under the Title 42 authority, without screening for protection needs, is inconsistent with international norms and may constitute refoulement," Grandi said.

"I reiterate UNHCR’s call for the US government immediately and fully to lift its Title 42 restrictions in effect since March of 2020 which continue to deny most people arriving at the southwest US land border any opportunity to request asylum," he said.

President Biden was at the United Nations headquarters on Tuesday, and was asked about the border crisis.

"We will get it under control," Biden said.

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He was then asked if his administration has it under control or will get it under control.

"We will get it under control," he repeated.