A US border guard on a horse strikes a man trying to exit the Rio Grande with a lasso. A man standing in the water is holding a plastic bag with food. This is one of the thousands of Haitian migrants headed for the United States.
This recording from the US-Mexico border has circulated in the American media. “This is just one of the many desperate scenes that unfold on the Rio Grande River on Sunday,” reports the Reuters news agency.
At the border of the United States, in the Texas city of Del Rio, there is a migration crisis. For several days, several thousand migrants, mainly from Haiti, have been camping there. According to the US authorities, in the last two days alone, more than three thousand of individual cases have been investigated, thanks to which some people have been transferred to temporary shelters. The American authorities, however, want to deport most of them.
Over the weekend, according to Reuters, hundreds of Haitians tried to transport food and other supplies from the Mexican city of Ciudad Acuna to a makeshift camp under a bridge over the Rio Grande River in Texas.
Meanwhile, American authorities tightened controls at the border. Until now, the services have allowed migrants wandering on the American side to cross the river back and forth, which is the natural border between Mexico and the United States. Migrants were informed on Sunday that those who returned to Mexico would not be re-admitted to the US.
“We want to deter migrants planning to cross the American border so that we can better take care of those who are currently under the bridge,” US Border Guard Chief Raul Ortiz said on Sunday. He argued that the services provided migrants with food, water, portable toilets and towels, and the care of paramedics.
In the trap
As Reuters writes, on Sunday, despite the statement of the American authorities, some migrants still tried to cross the river. “Some where the water reached their necks,” reports the agency.
Reuters reporters report seeing border guards on horses, in cowboy hats and with lasso in their hands, blocking the way of migrants carrying plastic bags and boxes. The agency reports that officers swung their lasso in an attempt to scare away migrants standing in the river. They fell and then tried to get ashore again.
“We’re trapped,” Joncito Jean, 37, who has been sleeping on sheets in the open air with his wife and young children for three days, told Reuters. Today he claims he regrets his decision to go to the US. – These aren’t human conditions. We have to sneak out to get drinking water – he said.
According to Reuters, more than 12,000 migrants, mainly Haitians, are currently camping on the Rio Grande. They are waiting for the immigration procedure to begin. Instead, US authorities began relocating migrants. Some of them were sent back to Haiti, the agency reports.
Main photo source: Reuters