Held by U.S. immigration officials in detention over several days, the group of over 100 Haitian asylum seekers were sent back across the border earlier this week carrying little more than the clothes on their backs,according to immigration advocates and a memo shared with the Miami Herald.
The group immediately stood out as they arrived from El Paso in Juárez, one of Mexico’s most dangerous border cities under a public health measure known as Title 42 that the Trump administration invoked during the coronavirus pandemic, said Tania Guerrero, an immigration attorney in the area.
“Nobody was at the bridge to receive them,” she said. “They were just dropped there.”
Though President Joe Biden quickly issued an executive order halting all deportations for 100 days as one of his first acts in office, information from Haitian government officials, U.S. data and activists indicate the pace of removals has continued at a steady clip.
Opposition political parties and civil society groups, including human rights organizations and the Catholic Church, contend that President Jovenel Moïse’s presidential term ends Sunday. He took office in 2017 after a chaotic general election marred by fraud allegations. Though Haiti’s presidential terms last five years, detractors say Moïse’s mandate technically started in 2016, when an interim government was installed for a year before anelection redo.