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Del Rio encampment cleared as thousands are expelled, returned to Mexico, or in line for asylum hearings: Mayorkas

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A top Biden administration official said 8,000 Haitian nationals who migrated to the United States illegally have returned to Mexico voluntarily, while federal authorities are evaluating more than 5,000 others for possible expulsion.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas also said about 12,400 people would have their cases heard by an immigration judge and will remain in the U.S. as they seek asylum.

“Nearly 30,000 Migrants have been encountered at Del Rio since Sept. 9,” Mayorkas said, reaching up to 15,000 people at one time.

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The encampment under the Del Rio International Bridge in Texas has been cleared, with migrants being expelled under the Title 42 public health rule, he added. Expulsion flights to Haiti had returned approximately 2,000 people.

Mayorkas said the Biden administration has studied the conditions in Haiti and determined the country is capable of receiving repatriated individuals despite the recent earthquake. However, Democratic lawmakers argue that Haitian nationals should not be returned to their home country due to humanitarian and political crises.

Biden’s homeland security chief pushed back on charges the administration is selectively applying immigration laws to target Haitians.

Mayorkas defended the use of Title 42, a public health rule the Trump and Biden administrations have used to expel migrants, citing the spread of coronavirus.

“An asylum claim is determined based on the facts that are presented in the individual case,” Mayorkas said. “Title 42 authority has been applied to irregular migration since the very beginning of this administration, and it has applied to individuals from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and other countries. It has been applied equally.”

Mayorkas cited exceptions to the rule, including claims from migrants who are at risk of torture or other physical harm if returned to their home countries.

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“Title 42 authority has been applied, irrespective of the country of origin, irrespective of the race of the individual, irrespective of other criteria that don’t belong in our adjudicative process,” he said.

He also called for comprehensive immigration reform.

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Tags: News, White House, Biden Administration, Joe Biden, Border Crisis, Haiti

Original Author: Katherine Doyle

Original Location: Del Rio encampment cleared as thousands are expelled, returned to Mexico, or in line for asylum hearings: Mayorkas

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