Nearly 15,000 Haitian migrants that have camped near a bridge on the southern U.S. border face widespread expulsion under the Biden administration.
The deportations began Sunday when 320 migrants were flown from Texas to Port-au-Prince, Haiti on three different flights.
Six more flights are expected Tuesday, and seven flights a day are due to start on Wednesday.
An additional 600 homeland security agents and staff have also been sent to the area and border patrol agents have also increased enforcement at the bridge.
Agents on horseback were seen whipping their horse reigns at migrants to prevent people from further crossing into the U.S.
In response to reporters, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday the images were “horrific” but she sought more context on what took place.
CRITICS SAY POLICY IS RACIST
The decision to fly the migrants to Haiti could be one of the fastest mass expulsions of migrants in decades.
Many on social media have criticized the actions as racist since the U.S. has not conducted such fast mass deportations in years.
One of the last instances was during the Haitian refugee crisis from 1991-1994.
In that period, the U.S. Coast Guard intercepted Haitian refugees at sea and brought them to Guantanamo Bay where most were sent back to Haiti without a chance to seek asylum.
“It shouldn’t take this for people to see the racism going on at the border against Haitian migrants… This country hates black people so it’s not shocking they would treat them like this” wrote Twitter user admirekyrie.
A headline on the NewsOne website reads: Harrowing Photos Of Border Patrol With Whips On Horseback Hunting Haitian Migrants Evoke Images Of Slavery
Haitian migrants have been crossing the Rio Grande river from Ciudad Acuña, Mexico to the encampment in Del Rio, Texas for months, but numbers swelled in the last few weeks.
Many have been traveling back and forth across the river to bring food and water to the outdoor camp where temperatures have reached triple digits.
Over the weekend, agents halted supply crossings and removed 3,300 migrants from the camp to detention centers or planes.
A border patrol official said the remaining migrants would be gone within a week.
Many of the migrants have lived in Latin America for years, migrating there after the deadly 2010 Haiti earthquake.
Some of those deported to Haiti have little knowledge of their “homeland” and are returning to a country that has been devastated by a recent earthquake and a political coup.
Some migrants opted to return to Mexico instead of facing deportation, but Mexico also announced Sunday that it would begin deporting Haitian migrants.
BIDEN RETAINED TRUMP POLICIES
When Biden campaigned for president he contrasted himself with former president Trump promising he would welcome immigrants and reassert U.S. commitments to asylum seekers and refugees.
When he took office, Biden removed the requirement that asylum-seekers remain in Mexico while their cases were being processed, but a judge ruled to reinstate the policy, and the U.S. Supreme Court upheld that ruling.
However Biden kept Title 42, a Trump policy that began in March 2020 allowing for rapid expulsions without the chance to seek asylum — due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The only change Biden made was allowing in unaccompanied children.
The Biden administration said it would appeal the judge’s ruling.
On Monday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas visited the area and said that U.S. borders were not open.
“If you come to the United States illegally you will be returned,” he said.