Alejandro Mayorkas, the head of the Department of Homeland Security, warned Haitian migrants against attempting a voyage to the US as more 12,000 migrants were camped around a bridge in Del Rio, Texas.
"We are very concerned that Haitians that are taking the irregular migration path are receiving misinformation—that the border is open or that Temporary Protected Status is available to them despite the fact they are arriving long after the date that presents the deadline for TPS eligibility," Mayorkas told journalists during a conference call, the Miami Herald reported. "This is not the way to come to the United States."
Bruno Lozano, the mayor of Del Rio, Texas, estimated that there were more than 12,000 migrants and asylum-seekers at a border location. The U.S. aims to expel many of the migrants camped around a bridge in Del Rio, a report said.
Starting Wednesday, there will be seven expulsion flights daily to Port-au-Prince and to Cap-Haitien, the Associated Press reported, citing a U.S. official who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. Flights will continue to depart from San Antonio but authorities may add El Paso, the official said. DHS did not immediately respond to an after-hours email from Fox News.
Mondesir Sirilien, a returned migrant, told Reuters that he spent about $15,000 to leave Haiti for the U.S.
"I could have invested that money here, I could have built a great business. It's not like we don't know how to do things," he said. "But we're not respected, we're humiliated and now we don't have anyone to defend us."
The Herald's report pointed out that Mayorkas reminded Haitians that only those residing in the U.S. before July 29 are eligible for TPS.
TPS protects nationals of designated countries living in the U.S. from potential deportation if they are eligible and also allows them to apply for work permits, as well as giving them the freedom to travel.
DHS cited the country’s recent political crisis, as well as an economic situation exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the effects of the 2010 earthquake as reasons for the temporary designation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report