Fast-track deportation: Biden’s asylum debacle

Fast-track deportation: Biden’s asylum debacle

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Fast-track deportation: Biden’s asylum debacle

E.in Border policeman on horseback hits a black man with what looks like a whip. It falls to the ground, into the low water of the river, which is probably the border river Rio Grande between Texas and Mexico. President Joe Biden’s spokeswoman Jen Psaki said she did not know the context of the images and could not imagine what kind of situation such a procedure might be appropriate.

Other videos show thousands of asylum seekers camp under a bridge in the border town of Del Rio. The border guards had set up a temporary camp here to process asylum applications – but more and more people came in the past few days. The situation on the southern border is also turning into a crisis for the Biden government.

8,600 people are still under the International Bridge in Del Rio, where the number of asylum seekers had risen to 10,000 in just a few days. They sleep under plastic sheeting and don’t have enough sanitary facilities. You want to stay in the United States, and if you can make it this far, you can apply for asylum on North American soil – actually.

But their cases are processed too slowly to resolve the backlog. And the authorities can expedite the newcomers. Because the government of President Biden did not suspend a corresponding regulation by predecessor Donald Trump, which allows repatriations due to the threat of the corona virus. However, Federal Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled a week ago that the government can no longer rely on the rule called “Title 42”. The disease protection requirement, which has been in place since March 2020, has been used to deport almost a million people since October alone, according to the border protection authorities. Biden’s government is now suing Sullivan’s ruling, which would immediately stop these returns.

Escape from poverty and violence

The vast majority of the people under the bridge in Del Rio are Haitians. They come because their country is one of the poorest in the world. Haiti remains in chaos following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in early July and the earthquake in mid-August. There is a lack of food, housing and medicines, and gangs terrify people with violent crimes. Even migrants who under other circumstances would have a good chance of asylum in the United States are now deported under “Title 42”.

The International Bridge in Del Rio on September 21st
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Image: AP

Most of the Haitian people who are currently heading north, however, do not come directly from their homeland. Thousands have been living in other South American countries since the earthquake disaster of 2010. According to the local government, there are currently around 30,000 Haitians in Colombia alone. There should be just as many in Panama, where a total of more than 70,000 migrants from other countries have already arrived this year, many to continue on their way to North America. According to the Panamanian authorities, 97 percent of Haitians who want to travel to the USA come from countries like Brazil, Chile or Colombia.