Last week, the world was shocked by images of police officers on horseback charging at desperate Haitian migrants near a camp of 12,000, set up under the Del Río-Ciudad Acuña International Bridge. Delva was on his way to buy food and water for his family when the cavalry charge sent him and dozens of his compatriots running in a frenzy.
“We were rounded up like cattle and shackled like criminals,” he said, having spent the six-hour flight from San Antonio with his hands and legs tied.
“They treated us like animals,” added Maria, his wife.. “We’ll never forget how that felt.”
US authorities were so slapdash in their rapid deportation of the migrants that they also swept up an Angolan man who had never set foot in Haiti. “I told them I am not Haitian,” said Belone Mpembele, as he emerged, dazed, from the terminal. “But they didn’t listen.”
Outside the airport a few dozen deported Haitians were waiting, restless and angry, for any help. “Screw Biden!” one deportee shouted as a fight broke out between two motorcycle taxi drivers jostling for clients and plumes of white, rancid smoke billowed from a nearby pile of burning rubbish.