Haitians at Texas border urged to give up amid 'inhumane' deportations by US

24 September 2021, 08:24 | Updated: 24 September 2021, 10:40

Authorities in Mexico are urging Haitians at the Texas border trying to reach the United States to give up.

They encouraged them to instead return to Mexico's border with Guatemala and request asylum there.

Up to 14,000 people, mostly Haitians, have been camped north of the Rio Grande river this month, though hundreds have turned back to Mexico after the US began deporting planes full of people back to Haiti.

The Caribbean nation is reeling from the assassination of its president, natural disasters, the coronavirus pandemic and gang violence.

It follows outrage at images of a US border guard on horseback brandishing a whip against Haitian migrants near their camp.

Pressure is growing on US President Joe Biden after the US special envoy to Haiti resigned in protest at his administration's deportations.

Mr Biden's administration has used a policy enacted by Donald Trump's administration in March 2020 to restrict immigration in an attempt to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Last week a federal judge ruled the restriction was improper and gave the government two weeks to cease, but Mr Biden's administration has appealed.

Daniel Foote, the US special envoy to Haiti, said he was resigning over the "inhumane" expulsions of Haitian migrants.

In his letter to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, he said he was stepping down immediately "with deep disappointment and apologies to those seeking crucial changes."

"I will not be associated with the United States inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees and illegal immigrants to Haiti, a country where American officials are confined to secure compounds because of the danger posed by armed gangs to daily life," he wrote.

"Our policy approach to Haiti remains deeply flawed, and my policy recommendations have been ignored and dismissed, when not edited to project a narrative different from my own."

So far nearly 2,000 migrants have been returned to Haiti, while almost 4,000 people have been taken into custody, the Department of Homeland security (DHS) said on Thursday.

Some 3,000 people remain in the camp in the Del Rio area of Texas, opposite Ciudad Acuna, the DHS added.

Some Haitians will be allowed to remain in the US temporarily while they seek asylum or under another claim of residency.