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Haitian journey to Texas border starts in South America

The route for Haitian migrants now under a bridge in a Texas border town goes through South America. Many flew to Brazil or Chile and, after jobs dried up, made an arduous journey to the border to wait in Mexican cities to enter the U.S. and claim asylum.

9/21/2021 8:16:00 AM

The route for Haiti an migrants now under a bridge in a Texas border town goes through South America . Many flew to Brazil or Chile and, after jobs dried up, made an arduous journey to the border to wait in Mexican cities to enter the U.S. and claim asylum.

TIJUANA, Mexico (AP) — Robins Exile downed a traditional meal of plantains and chicken at a restaurant run by Haiti an immigrants, just a short walk from the walled border with the United States . He arrived the night before and went there seeking advice: Should he try to get to the U.S., or was it better to settle in Mexico ?

President Barack Obama initially allowed them in the U.S. on humanitarian grounds but abruptly began flying them back to Haiti, leaving many stranded on the Mexican border.Since then, Haitian restaurants and other businesses have sprouted in Tijuana. Haitians have found work at border factories built for U.S. exports and at car washes. One hardscrabble neighborhood is now known as “Little Haiti” because so many settled there.

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Many Haitians have established at least temporary legal status in Mexico, Brazil and elsewhere. Some have spouses or children from their adopted countries.Exile, who joked that he seemed born to be a refugee given his name, said he was interested in getting documents to be able to work in Mexico if his plan to reach the United States fails. He and his pregnant wife had been on the road for 2 1/2 months after he lost his job in Brazil. They had flown there from Haiti a year and half ago amid spiraling crime.

They stayed along Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala for three weeks, and had planned to go to the Texas border. But by the time his family sent money, he heard Tijuana was the safer option with its well-established Haitian community.“It’s getting complicated, so that’s why I came here where I can hopefully find work and live peacefully, taking care of my family,” Exile said in the restaurant, painted in the colors of the Haitian flag.

He understands the U.S. crackdown in Del Rio, where the Biden administration on Sunday launched an expulsion campaign to Haiti.“I think people should wait and work in Mexico,” he said. “There are opportunities here, just not as many as in the U.S.”Pierre Wilthene and his wife agree. They operate the restaurant “Chris Kapab,” or “God Willing” in Creole. They arrived in Tijuana five years ago. The two went to Brazil when the economy was booming ahead of the 2014 World Cup.

“Things are good here,” said Wilthene, who also is vice president of the Association of the Defense of Haitian Immigrants in Tijuana, which helps arrivals find housing, passes along donated furniture, clothing and toys and guides Haitians through Mexico’s health care and public school systems.

Yuliy Ramírez came to Tijuana five years after losing her job in Brazil, where she arrived in 2012. She enrolled in a Tijuana university for a nursing degree.“Mexico was a good option for me, but I won’t deny that for many they could have a much better life in the U.S.,” Ramirez said.

About 150,000 Haitians went to Chile from 2014 to 2018, many on charter flights to qualify for a visa, and found work as street vendors, janitors and construction workers. They lived largely in marginalized neighborhoods of the capital and suffered discrimination.

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In April, a stricter immigration law took effect, and the Chilean government started massive aerial deportations.Now more Haitians are moving through the Colombian town of Necocli, where migrants catch boat rides to the Panama border to begin the perilous trek through the jungle of the Darien Gap. In July, the town hosted more than 10,000 migrants, nearly all Haitian.

Migrants waiting there stay in hotels or locals’ homes, where they rent rooms for $6 to $10 a night. Large groups sleep under tarps on the beach.Panama’s Security Minister Juan Pino said Monday that last week his country was still receiving 2,500 to 3,000 migrants — mostly Haitians — arriving through the Darien Gap.

From there, many have made their way to Mexico, where some apply for asylum in the southern city of Tapachula and live in encampments.Unlike Central Americans, Haitians have generally not been deported from Mexico. So far this year, 19,000 have requested asylum in Mexico, a figure second only to Hondurans. In the previous two years, only about 6,000 Haitians had applied each year.

But most in the past have decided to push on to the United States, though now some are weighing the risks.The Biden administration plans to ramp up this week to seven flights a day in what may be the swiftest, large-scale American efforts to remove migrants or refugees in decades.

Junior Jean lived in Chile for four years before coming through Mexico to the makeshift camp under the Del Rio bridge.“Chile was bad for me,” said Jean, 32. “I was sleeping on the street, eating from the trash. That is what we were doing. There is nothing.”

___Lozano reported from Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, and Spagat reported from San Diego. AP reporters Eva Vergara in Santiago Chile, Astrid Suarez and Manuel Rueda in Bogota, Colombia, Juan Zamorano in Panama City, and Maria de la Verza in Mexico City contributed to this report.

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But what caused the sudden migration of thousands in a matter of days? It’s unprecedented, right? Get to the bottom of that. They have been transported all over They haven't been tested nor vaccinated And 2 groups of them have ALREADY been violent Wait a minute. There are a ton of jobs out there that, apparently, lazy, government check receiving Americans don’t feel like working. Let’s give the jobs to the asylum seekers! Bet they’d be THRILLED w/ a job!!!

In sorry but if you can't make it here using the legal route then you gotta go home. My dad waited years to get here but when he came it was 100% legal. suneaz1 Such BS! How did so many arrive simultaneously? This was organized! Ask the GOP! Conservatives, I know you guys have a strict no-n word helping policy, but can't you find it in your hearts to stand up for these people? They aren't even trending on twitter. No one cares 😧

Mexico isn’t that bad geez This is unbelievable!We have no leadership!California has the highest taxes in the US, highest gas prices in the US, highest homeless in the US! The leaders live in Mansions,think about it and compare it to other countries!Other states will start to suffer under this leadership!

“It is a population that relies little on smugglers and instead moves based on shared experience and information exchanged between the tight-knit community, often via WhatsApp or Facebook” They want my old job? Don't they have a country to rebuild? Go home and get to work

US may fly Haitian migrants home from Texas starting SundayDEL RIO, Texas (AP) — The United States could begin flying some of the thousands of Haiti an migrants who have crossed from Mexico into a Texas border camp back to their poverty-stricken homeland on Sunday, hoping to deter others from crossing into the country. Those paper towels are looking better everyday. Why is Mexico allowing this to constantly happen yet we trade with them as if nothing happened Haiti is an island nation. Follow the money…this was a coordinated effort. There is NO WAY this happened without help

Mexico is nice, if you learn quick. Should be a good filter on who to let in. Why didn’t they seek asylum in South America? Apparently they’re not welcome in Texas Who organized this Screw their asylum. Not only is their reasoning not adequate but we do not need them. Go somewhere else. So they flew to South America and ended up in Del Rio, Texas. 12000 people did this. 12k. Weird.

I want to start a new party! The OPP- Other People's Party! Made up of Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Poor People, People Of Color, with the American's best interest at heart not the wealthy & corporate America! Void of dark $ & funded by The People no Corporate dark $!

US launches mass expulsion of Haitian migrants from TexasThe U.S. is flying Haiti ans camped in a Texas border town back to their homeland and trying to block others from crossing the border from Mexico Never visit these 10 Countries in 2021😱🧐 thanks

US launches mass expulsion of Haitian migrants from TexasThe U.S. is flying Haiti ans camped in a Texas border town back to their homeland and trying to block others from crossing the border from Mexico I honestly feel bad for these desperate people. Where are all the Christians who are supposed to help the poor? We need to help their country. What a Shit Show! Thanks Joe! FJB Drama by the pigs

US launches mass expulsion of Haitian migrants from TexasDEL RIO, Texas (AP) — The U.S. flew Haiti ans camped in a Texas border town back to their homeland Sunday and tried blocking others from crossing the border from Mexico in a massive show of force that signaled the beginning of what could be one of America's swiftest, large-scale expulsions of migrants or refugees in decades. In all, U.S. authorities moved to expel many of the more 12,000 migrants camped around a bridge in Del Rio, Texas, after they crossed from Ciudad Acuña, Mexico. It is terribly sad to see this but why is the US responsible to help everyone else in the world. Where's the UN? Isn't it the UNs existence to help citizens of countries in need? Good. The US is full. These people need to go back home and re-build their country. These latino illegal aliens need to be deported right along with them. Enough is a enough…

Haitian migrants in Texas worry as deportations begin: 'I'll die in Haiti' Haiti ans who fled their country following the 2010 earthquake are being flown back to the island; some fear for their lives given the lack of security in the impoverished nation. So much for a free country why dont they start building the wall again Let them stay...we made accommodations for the Afghans! Is this a race thing? Yahoo Try entering the legal way and we will consider keeping you. How did you get from Haiti to Mexico in the first place? Who paid for that trip?

Migrant surge continues to test authorities in south TexasAs the administration grapples with a surge of Haiti an migrants on the border, images have surfaced showing U.S. Border Patrol agents riding horses to control the crowd. Biden sends out the Bat Signal that our borders are open and now these illegal immigrants are denied? So what’s the criteria? No, they haven't identified the brain control and directed energy torture and slavery weapons there. It's not even about Covid. They need more pigs cracking whips there Yea the sudden, unexpected, random flow of migrants just showing up at the TX border as the right wing continues to fuel racist animus towards immigrants. Nothing to see here. The media will simply hype up GQP talking points without asking why now?