Valley nonprofits helping Haitian migrants in Reynosa, Matamoros
Of the more than 14,000 migrants that were once camped out in Del Rio, nearly 30 percent were expelled from the country under the health order known as Title 42, according to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
The latest numbers from U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows federal agent encounters with migrants at Rio Grande Valley borders have surged more than 690 percent compared to this time last year.
In light of the thousands of Haitian migrants who were recently cleared out from a campsite under the international bridge in Del Rio, just over 5,000 are being processed by DHS to determine whether they will be expelled or placed in immigration removal proceedings, Mayorkas said.
Leaders of the nonprofit community say they're seeing Haitian migrants in Reynosa and Matamoros, Mexico.
Valley airport activity shows some of the latest flights from Harlingen's Valley International Airport arriving in Haiti on Sunday.
"The Haitians that are arriving in Del Rio and in Reynosa and Matamoros--we are involved in connecting with those groups and making sure that they get the relief and the care they need,” ” said Executive Director of Catholic Charities Rio Grande Valley Sister Norma Pimentel.
On a daily basis, volunteers from the organization are responding to migrants on both sides of the border with food, aid and shelter.
“The numbers are regularly high but in reality, in comparison to the numbers we were seeing two, four, three weeks ago, we were almost 2,000 people every single day,” Pimentel said. “The numbers right now are at 450, not more than 500 a day."
Pimentel says currently, the majority of the Haitian migrants they're helping are on the Mexican side of the border. Pimentel said the reasons the migrants are seeking refuge is no different than migrants from Central America.
"It's impossible to live in their country, that's probably why they are here," Pimentel said. "The situation may be somewhat different from what is happening in Central America but they are all suffering and fearing for their lives. They want to have a space that's safe."
Channel 5 News reached out to RGV sector Border Patrol agents to find out if there have been any attempts by Haitian migrants to cross the border in our area. Agents referred Channel 5 News to the Department of Homeland Security and we are waiting to hear back from them.
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