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At The U.S.-Mexico Border, Haitians Arrive To A Harsh Reception

           

Haitian nationals at a Mexican government immigration office near the port of entry between Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, and Nogales, Ariz., wait day after day for appointments with U.S. immigration agents so they can enter. As a result of the Haitian influx and a continuing surge of Central Americans on the Texas-Mexico border, the U.S. government has run out of detention space.  John Burnett/NPR

npr.org - by John Burnett - November 23, 2016

Desperate Haitian immigrants have been massing along the U.S.-Mexico border for months seeking humanitarian relief. In the past year more than 5,000 have sought entry into the United States — a 500 percent increase over the previous year.

After the catastrophic 2010 earthquake in Haiti, thousands of citizens migrated to Brazil looking for work. But as Brazil has slipped into recession in recent years, many of them have hit the road again, heading north on a 6,000-mile journey to the U.S. border — by every means of conveyance . . .

 . . . The Homeland Security Department announced new rules in September. All Haitians who show up at the border without papers and who don't ask for asylum are now detained.

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FILE - In this Nov. 14, 2016 file photo, Guatamalan Elvin Vazquez, center, holds a Haitian girl migrating with her family, at a migrant shelter in Tijuana, Mexico.

Associated Press - by ALICIA A. CALDWELL, ASTRID GALVAN and ELLIOT SPAGAT - November 17, 2016

A surge in border crossings and a lack of immigration jail space have prompted the federal government to start releasing Haitian immigrants who have been entering the country in large numbers in recent months, backtracking on a pledge to jail the migrants.

A U.S. government official told The Associated Press that the decision to free Haitians arriving in Arizona and California is in response to a lack of jail space. The official said releasing immigrants with orders to report later to immigration court is a tactic used when detention space is scarce, under certain humanitarian conditions or as part of efforts to keep families together.

Before the Haitians are released, they are subjected to a criminal background and national security check.

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