CIUDAD ACUNA, Mexico – Mexico has begun busing and flying Haitian migrants away from the U.S. border, authorities said Tuesday, signaling a new level of support for the United States as a giant refugee camp in a small Texas border town presented President Joe Biden with a humanitarian and increasingly political challenge.
Mexico has helped at key moments before. It intensified patrols to stop unaccompanied Central American children from reaching the Texas border in 2014, allowed thousands of asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico for hearings in U.S. courts in 2019 and last month began deporting Central American migrants to Guatemala after the U.S. flew them to southern Mexico.
In Haiti, dozens of migrants upset about being deported from the U.S. tried to rush back into a plane that landed Tuesday afternoon in Port-au-Prince as they yelled at authorities. A security guard closed the plane door in time as some deportees began throwing rocks and shoes at the plane. Several of them lost their belongings in the scuffle as police arrived. The group was disembarking from one of three flights scheduled for the day.
The White House is facing sharp bipartisan condemnation for its handling of the influx. Republicans say the Haitian migrants believed Biden administration immigration policy encouraged their belief that they would receive asylum. Democrats are expressing outrage after images went viral this week of U.S. Border Patrol agents on horseback using aggressive tactics against the migrants.
Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, during a visit Tuesday to the encampment in Del Rio, Texas, said the county's top official told him the most recent tally was about 8,600 migrants who remain there.