Welcome mat withdrawn? U.S. to fly migrants back to Haiti

Welcome mat withdrawn? U.S. to fly migrants back to Haiti

The flip-flopping taking place on the border between Texas and Mexico is now reaching levels that would make Simone Biles envious. In just the past couple of days, we’ve seen Governor Greg Abbott send the National Guard to close off border entries, reportedly at the request of Customs and Border Protection. Then the Biden administration reversed the order, saying that such a move would be a violation of federal law, allowing the current flood of migrants, most of whom are from Haiti, to continue surging into the country, primarily near the small town of Del Rio. But yesterday afternoon, the picture changed yet again. The migrants would continue to be allowed to come into Texas and set up camp, but they will be loaded onto planes and flown back to Haiti to be dumped off there starting tomorrow. Is there anyone at the White House in charge of this who actually knows what the heck is going on? (Associated Press)

The Biden administration plans the widescale expulsion of Haitian migrants from a small Texas border city by putting them on flights to Haiti starting Sunday, an official said Friday, representing a swift and dramatic response to thousands who suddenly crossed the border from Mexico and gathered under and around a bridge.

Details are yet to be finalized but will likely involve five to eight flights a day, according to the official with direct knowledge of the plans who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. San Antonio, the nearest major city, may be among the departure cities.

Another administration official speaking on condition of anonymity expected two flights a day at most and said all migrants would be tested for COVID-19.

How this can be viewed as anything other than a complete policy reversal on the part of the Biden administration is a mystery. Were we not told repeatedly that Donald Trump’s immigration policies were “cruel and inhumane” by both Biden himself and the now missing-in-action Border Czar, Kamala Harris? I distinctly recall hearing that the Bad Orange Man was placing the hopeful migrants in danger by sending them back to unstable countries with high rates of both violence and unchecked COVID waves. What happened to those concerns?

We also have to wonder about the logistics of this plan because it sounds like a daunting proposition. The number of migrants now camping out under that bridge and in the surrounding areas is currently estimated to have passed ten thousand. One official told the Associated Press that they plan to be running two flights per day to Haiti. Another said it could be between five and eight flights. The migrants are located only a few miles from Laughlin Air Force Base, which makes it convenient, but that’s a lot of traffic to push through there on short notice. Even with some of the larger carriers being made available it could take weeks to get them all out.

Of far greater concern is the vetting required to do this properly. They will need to identify just who all of these people are, particularly if some in the crowd aren’t really from Haiti. The anonymous administration official claims that they will all be tested for COVID, but do they actually have that many test kits on hand? And what of the ones who test positive? Will they simply be pushed onto the planes and sent off to Haiti anyway?

What seems increasingly clear to me is that this policy reversal represents Joe Biden’s team all but admitting that their open border policies have been an abject failure. (Not that you’ll ever hear them admit it publicly, nor will most of the cable news outlets say it that way.) Unfortunately, allowing these failed policies to continue unchecked for more than eight months has taken an already difficult situation and turned it into an abject disaster. Illegal migrants have been crossing the border in numbers not seen in decades and tens of thousands have been shipped around the interior of the United States and simply turned loose. Many of those will never show up for a court date and simply disappear.

We made considerable progress during the previous administration in both stemming the tide of illegal migration and improving our relationships and immigration agreements with both Mexico and the Northern Triangle nations. All of that progress has been washed away in a matter of months and now it is the counties and states on the Mexican border who are left dealing with a a totally preventable crisis that can only be described as chaos. Heck of a job, Joe.

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Jazz Shaw 5:01 PM on March 22, 2023