Haitians on Texas border undeterred by US plan to expel them

 By JUAN A. LOZANO, ERIC GAY and ELLIOT SPAGAT, Associated Press 2 hrs agoLikeElon Musk pledges $50M to Inspiration4 fundraiser for St. Jude, exceeding $200M…Osinbajo backs AI apps for securityHaitian migrants use a dam to cross into and from the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The U.S. plans to speed up its efforts to expel Haitian migrants on flights to their Caribbean homeland, officials said Saturday as agents poured into a Texas border city where thousands of Haitians have gathered after suddenly crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)© Provided by Associated Press Haitian migrants use a dam to cross into and from the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The U.S. plans to speed up its efforts to expel Haitian migrants on flights to their Caribbean homeland, officials said Saturday as agents poured into a Texas border city where thousands of Haitians have gathered after suddenly crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

DEL RIO, Texas (AP) — Haitian migrants seeking to escape poverty, hunger and a feeling of hopelessness in their home country said they will not be deterred by U.S. plans to speedily send them back, as thousands of people remained encamped on the Texas border Saturday after crossing from Mexico.A dust storm moves across the area as Haitian migrants use a dam to cross into and from the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The U.S. plans to speed up its efforts to expel Haitian migrants on flights to their Caribbean homeland, officials said Saturday as agents poured into a Texas border city where thousands of Haitians have gathered after suddenly crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)© Provided by Associated Press A dust storm moves across the area as Haitian migrants use a dam to cross into and from the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The U.S. plans to speed up its efforts to expel Haitian migrants on flights to their Caribbean homeland, officials said Saturday as agents poured into a Texas border city where thousands of Haitians have gathered after suddenly crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Scores of people waded back and forth across the Rio Grande on Saturday afternoon, re-entering Mexico to purchase water, food and diapers in Ciudad Acuña before returning to the Texas encampment under and near a bridge in the border city of Del Rio.A dust storm moves across the area as Haitian migrants use a dam to cross into the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. U.S. officials said that within the next three days, they plan to ramp up expulsion flights for some of the thousands of Haitian migrants who have gathered in the Texas city from across the border in Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)© Provided by Associated Press A dust storm moves across the area as Haitian migrants use a dam to cross into the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. U.S. officials said that within the next three days, they plan to ramp up expulsion flights for some of the thousands of Haitian migrants who have gathered in the Texas city from across the border in Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Junior Jean, a 32-year-old man from Haiti, watched as people cautiously carried cases of water or bags of food through the knee-high river water. Jean said he lived on the streets in Chile the past four years, resigned to searching for food in garbage cans.National Guardsmen stands watch over a fence near the International bridge where thousands of Haitian migrants have created a makeshift camp, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The Biden administration plans the widescale expulsion of Haitian migrants from a small Texas border city by putting them on 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.(AP Photo/Eric Gay)© Provided by Associated Press National Guardsmen stands watch over a fence near the International bridge where thousands of Haitian migrants have created a makeshift camp, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The Biden administration plans the widescale expulsion of Haitian migrants from a small Texas border city by putting them on 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.(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

“We are all looking for a better life,” he said.Haitian migrants set up make-shift camp along the Rio Grande after crossing into the United States from Mexico, Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. Thousands of Haitian migrants have assembled under and around a bridge in Del Rio presenting the Biden administration with a fresh and immediate challenge as it tries to manage large numbers of asylum-seekers who have been reaching U.S. soil. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)© Provided by Associated Press Haitian migrants set up make-shift camp along the Rio Grande after crossing into the United States from Mexico, Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. Thousands of Haitian migrants have assembled under and around a bridge in Del Rio presenting the Biden administration with a fresh and immediate challenge as it tries to manage large numbers of asylum-seekers who have been reaching U.S. soil. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

The Department of Homeland Security said Saturday that it moved about 2,000 of the migrants from the camp to other locations Friday for processing and possible removal from the U.S. Its statement also said it would have 400 agents and officers in the area by Monday morning and would send more if necessary.A National Guardsman stands guard at a fence that runs along the Rio Grande near the International bridge, Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. Thousands of Haitian migrants have assembled under and around the bridge in Del Rio presenting the Biden administration with a fresh and immediate challenge as it tries to manage large numbers of asylum-seekers who have been reaching U.S. soil. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)© Provided by Associated Press A National Guardsman stands guard at a fence that runs along the Rio Grande near the International bridge, Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. Thousands of Haitian migrants have assembled under and around the bridge in Del Rio presenting the Biden administration with a fresh and immediate challenge as it tries to manage large numbers of asylum-seekers who have been reaching U.S. soil. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

The announcement marked a swift response to the sudden arrival of Haitians in Del Rio, a Texas city of about 35,000 people roughly 145 miles (230 kilometers) west of San Antonio. It sits on a relatively remote stretch of border that lacks capacity to hold and process such large numbers of people.The International bridge where thousands of Haitian migrants have created a makeshift camp remains closed, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The Biden administration plans the widescale expulsion of Haitian migrants from a small Texas border city by putting them on 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.(AP Photo/Eric Gay)© Provided by Associated Press The International bridge where thousands of Haitian migrants have created a makeshift camp remains closed, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The Biden administration plans the widescale expulsion of Haitian migrants from a small Texas border city by putting them on 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.(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

A U.S. official told The Associated Press on Friday that the U.S would likely fly the migrants out of the country on five to eight flights a day, starting Sunday, while another official expected no more than two a day and said everyone would be tested for COVID-19. The first official said operational capacity and Haiti’s willingness to accept flights would determine how many flights there would be. Both officials were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on the condition of anonymity.Texas Gov Greg Abbott, front center, is flanked by State Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, front left, and Rep. Greg Bonnen, R-Friendswood, front right, with others looking on as he signs a bill that provides additional funding for security at the U.S.-Mexico border Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, in Fort Worth. (AP Photo/LM Otero)© Provided by Associated Press Texas Gov Greg Abbott, front center, is flanked by State Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, front left, and Rep. Greg Bonnen, R-Friendswood, front right, with others looking on as he signs a bill that provides additional funding for security at the U.S.-Mexico border Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, in Fort Worth. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Told of the U.S. plans Saturday, several migrants said they still intended to remain in the encampment and seek asylum. Some spoke of the most recent devastating earthquake in Haiti and the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, saying they were afraid to return to a country that seems more unstable than when they left.Haitian migrants use a dam to cross into the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The U.S. plans to speed up its efforts to expel Haitian migrants on flights to their Caribbean homeland, officials said Saturday as agents poured into the Texas border city where thousands of Haitians have gathered after suddenly crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)© Provided by Associated Press Haitian migrants use a dam to cross into the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The U.S. plans to speed up its efforts to expel Haitian migrants on flights to their Caribbean homeland, officials said Saturday as agents poured into the Texas border city where thousands of Haitians have gathered after suddenly crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

“In Haiti, there is no security,” said Fabricio Jean, a 38-year-old Haitian who arrived with his wife and two daughters. “The country is in a political crisis.”A dust storm moves across the area as Haitian migrants use a dam to cross into the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. U.S. President Joe Biden's administration is nearing a final plan to expel many of the thousands of Haitian migrants who have suddenly crossed into the Texas border city from Mexico and to fly them back to their Caribbean homeland.  (AP Photo/Eric Gay)© Provided by Associated Press A dust storm moves across the area as Haitian migrants use a dam to cross into the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration is nearing a final plan to expel many of the thousands of Haitian migrants who have suddenly crossed into the Texas border city from Mexico and to fly them back to their Caribbean homeland. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Haitians have been migrating to the U.S. in large numbers from South America for several years, many having left their Caribbean nation after a devastating 2010 earthquake. After jobs dried up from the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, many made the dangerous trek by foot, bus and car to the U.S. border, including through the infamous Darien Gap, a Panamanian jungle.Haitian migrants use a dam to cross into the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. U.S. officials said that within the next three days, they plan to ramp up expulsion flights for some of the thousands of Haitian migrants who have gathered in the Texas city from across the border in Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)© Provided by Associated Press Haitian migrants use a dam to cross into the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. U.S. officials said that within the next three days, they plan to ramp up expulsion flights for some of the thousands of Haitian migrants who have gathered in the Texas city from across the border in Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Jorge Luis Mora Castillo, a 48-year-old from Cuba, said he arrived Saturday in Acuna and also planned to cross into the U.S. Castillo said his family paid smugglers $12,000 to take him, his wife and their son out of Paraguay, a South American nation where they had lived for four years.Migrants head to a makeshift camp where thousands of Haitian migrants have created a makeshift camp, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The Biden administration plans the widescale expulsion of Haitian migrants from a small Texas border city by putting them on 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.(AP Photo/Eric Gay)© Provided by Associated Press Migrants head to a makeshift camp where thousands of Haitian migrants have created a makeshift camp, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The Biden administration plans the widescale expulsion of Haitian migrants from a small Texas border city by putting them on 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.(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Told of the U.S. message discouraging migrants, Castillo said he wouldn’t change his mind.A Texas State Trooper ropes off an area along the banks of the Rio Grande as Haitian migrants use a dam to cross into the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. U.S. officials said that within the next three days, they plan to ramp up expulsion flights for some of the thousands of Haitian migrants who have gathered in the Texas city from across the border in Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)© Provided by Associated Press A Texas State Trooper ropes off an area along the banks of the Rio Grande as Haitian migrants use a dam to cross into the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. U.S. officials said that within the next three days, they plan to ramp up expulsion flights for some of the thousands of Haitian migrants who have gathered in the Texas city from across the border in Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

“Because to go back to Cuba is to die,” he said.Haitian migrants carry provisions as they use a dam to cross into the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. U.S. officials said that within the next three days, they plan to ramp up expulsion flights for some of the thousands of Haitian migrants who have gathered in the Texas city from across the border in Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)© Provided by Associated Press Haitian migrants carry provisions as they use a dam to cross into the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. U.S. officials said that within the next three days, they plan to ramp up expulsion flights for some of the thousands of Haitian migrants who have gathered in the Texas city from across the border in Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

U.S. Customs and Border Protection closed off vehicle and pedestrian traffic in both directions Friday at the only border crossing between Del Rio and Ciudad Acuña “to respond to urgent safety and security needs” and it remained closed Saturday. Travelers were being directed indefinitely to a crossing in Eagle Pass, roughly 55 miles (90 kilometers) away.Haitian migrants carry provisions as they use a dam to cross into the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The Biden administration plans the widescale expulsion of Haitian migrants from the small Texas border city by putting them on 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.  (AP Photo/Eric Gay)© Provided by Associated Press Haitian migrants carry provisions as they use a dam to cross into the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The Biden administration plans the widescale expulsion of Haitian migrants from the small Texas border city by putting them on 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. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Crowd estimates varied, but Del Rio Mayor Bruno Lozano said Saturday evening there were 14,534 immigrants at the camp under the bridge. Migrants pitched tents and built makeshif t shelters from giant reeds known as carrizo cane. Many bathed and washed clothing in the river.Haitian migrants carry provisions as they use a dam to cross into and from the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The U.S. plans to speed up its efforts to expel Haitian migrants on flights to their Caribbean homeland, officials said Saturday as agents poured into a Texas border city where thousands of Haitians have gathered after suddenly crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)© Provided by Associated Press Haitian migrants carry provisions as they use a dam to cross into and from the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The U.S. plans to speed up its efforts to expel Haitian migrants on flights to their Caribbean homeland, officials said Saturday as agents poured into a Texas border city where thousands of Haitians have gathered after suddenly crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

It is unclear how such a large number amassed so quickly, though many Haitians have been assembling in camps on the Mexican side of the border to wait while deciding whether to attempt entry into the U.S.In a satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies, hundreds of migrants seek refuge and shelter from the sun and heat underneath the Del Rio International Bridge, as other people can be seen wading across the Rio Grande River at the Mexico-U.S. border near Del Rio, Texas, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. (Satellite image ©2021 Maxar Technologies via AP)© Provided by Associated Press In a satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies, hundreds of migrants seek refuge and shelter from the sun and heat underneath the Del Rio International Bridge, as other people can be seen wading across the Rio Grande River at the Mexico-U.S. border near Del Rio, Texas, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. (Satellite image ©2021 Maxar Technologies via AP)

The number of Haitian arrivals began to reach unsustainable levels for the Border Patrol in Del Rio about 2 ½ weeks ago, prompting the agency’s acting sector chief, Robert Garcia, to ask headquarters for help, according to a U.S. official who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.Haitian migrants use a dam to cross into and from the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The U.S. plans to speed up its efforts to expel Haitian migrants on flights to their Caribbean homeland, officials said Saturday as agents poured into a Texas border city where thousands of Haitians have gathered after suddenly crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)© Provided by Associated Press Haitian migrants use a dam to cross into and from the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The U.S. plans to speed up its efforts to expel Haitian migrants on flights to their Caribbean homeland, officials said Saturday as agents poured into a Texas border city where thousands of Haitians have gathered after suddenly crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Since then, the agency has transferred Haitians in buses and vans to other Border Patrol facilities in Texas, specifically El Paso, Laredo and Rio Grande Valley. They are mostly processed outside of the pandemic-related authority, meaning they can claim asylum and remain in the U.S. while their claims are considered. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement makes custody decision but families can generally not be held more than 20 days under court order.Haitian migrants use a dam to cross into and from the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The U.S. plans to speed up its efforts to expel Haitian migrants on flights to their Caribbean homeland, officials said Saturday as agents poured into a Texas border city where thousands of Haitians have gathered after suddenly crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)© Provided by Associated Press Haitian migrants use a dam to cross into and from the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The U.S. plans to speed up its efforts to expel Haitian migrants on flights to their Caribbean homeland, officials said Saturday as agents poured into a Texas border city where thousands of Haitians have gathered after suddenly crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Homeland Security’s plan announced Saturday signals a shift to use of pandemic-related authority for immediate expulsion to Haiti without an opportunity to claim asylum, the official said.Haitian migrants use a dam to cross into and from the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The U.S. plans to speed up its efforts to expel Haitian migrants on flights to their Caribbean homeland, officials said Saturday as agents poured into a Texas border city where thousands of Haitians have gathered after suddenly crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)© Provided by Associated Press Haitian migrants use a dam to cross into and from the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The U.S. plans to speed up its efforts to expel Haitian migrants on flights to their Caribbean homeland, officials said Saturday as agents poured into a Texas border city where thousands of Haitians have gathered after suddenly crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

The flight plan, while potentially massive in scale, hinges on how Haitians respond. They might have to decide whether to stay put at the risk of being sent back to an impoverished homeland wracked by poverty and political instability or return to Mexico. Unaccompanied children are exempt from fast-track expulsions.Haitian migrants use a dam to cross into and from the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The U.S. plans to speed up its efforts to expel Haitian migrants on flights to their Caribbean homeland, officials said Saturday as agents poured into a Texas border city where thousands of Haitians have gathered after suddenly crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)© Provided by Associated Press Haitian migrants use a dam to cross into and from the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The U.S. plans to speed up its efforts to expel Haitian migrants on flights to their Caribbean homeland, officials said Saturday as agents poured into a Texas border city where thousands of Haitians have gathered after suddenly crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

DHS said, “our borders are not open, and people should not make the dangerous journey.”Haitian migrants use a dam to cross into and from the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The U.S. plans to speed up its efforts to expel Haitian migrants on flights to their Caribbean homeland, officials said Saturday as agents poured into a Texas border city where thousands of Haitians have gathered after suddenly crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)© Provided by Associated Press Haitian migrants use a dam to cross into and from the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The U.S. plans to speed up its efforts to expel Haitian migrants on flights to their Caribbean homeland, officials said Saturday as agents poured into a Texas border city where thousands of Haitians have gathered after suddenly crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

“Individuals and families are subject to border restrictions, including expulsion,” the agency wrote. “Irregular migration poses a significant threat to the health and welfare of border communities and to the lives of migrants themselves, and should not be attempted.”Haitian migrants bathe and do laundry along the banks of the Rio Grand after they crossed into the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The U.S. plans to speed up its efforts to expel Haitian migrants on flights to their Caribbean homeland, officials said Saturday as agents poured into a Texas border city where thousands of Haitians have gathered after suddenly crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)© Provided by Associated Press Haitian migrants bathe and do laundry along the banks of the Rio Grand after they crossed into the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The U.S. plans to speed up its efforts to expel Haitian migrants on flights to their Caribbean homeland, officials said Saturday as agents poured into a Texas border city where thousands of Haitians have gathered after suddenly crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

U.S. authorities are being severely tested after Democratic President Joe Biden quickly dismantled Trump administration policies that Biden considered cruel or inhumane, most notably one requiring asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico while waiting for U.S. immigration court hearings.Haitian migrants carry provisions as they use a dam to cross into and from the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The U.S. plans to speed up its efforts to expel Haitian migrants on flights to their Caribbean homeland, officials said Saturday as agents poured into a Texas border city where thousands of Haitians have gathered after suddenly crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)© Provided by Associated Press Haitian migrants carry provisions as they use a dam to cross into and from the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The U.S. plans to speed up its efforts to expel Haitian migrants on flights to their Caribbean homeland, officials said Saturday as agents poured into a Texas border city where thousands of Haitians have gathered after suddenly crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

A pandemic-related order to immediately expel migrants without giving them the opportunity to seek asylum that was introduced in March 2020 remains in effect, but unaccompanied children and many families have been exempt. During his first month in office, Biden chose to exempt children traveling alone on humanitarian grounds.Haitian migrants gather on the banks of the Rio Grande after they crossed into the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The U.S. plans to speed up its efforts to expel Haitian migrants on flights to their Caribbean homeland, officials said Saturday as agents poured into a Texas border city where thousands of Haitians have gathered after suddenly crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)© Provided by Associated Press Haitian migrants gather on the banks of the Rio Grande after they crossed into the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The U.S. plans to speed up its efforts to expel Haitian migrants on flights to their Caribbean homeland, officials said Saturday as agents poured into a Texas border city where thousands of Haitians have gathered after suddenly crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Nicole Phillips, legal director for advocacy group Haitian Bridge Alliance, said Saturday that the U.S. government should process migrants and allow them to apply for asylum, not rush to expel them.Haitian migrants use a dam to cross into and from the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The U.S. plans to speed up its efforts to expel Haitian migrants on flights to their Caribbean homeland, officials said Saturday as agents poured into a Texas border city where thousands of Haitians have gathered after suddenly crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)© Provided by Associated Press Haitian migrants use a dam to cross into and from the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The U.S. plans to speed up its efforts to expel Haitian migrants on flights to their Caribbean homeland, officials said Saturday as agents poured into a Texas border city where thousands of Haitians have gathered after suddenly crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

“It really is a humanitarian crisis,” Phillips said. “There needs to be a lot of help there now.”Haitian migrants use a dam to cross into and from the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The U.S. plans to speed up its efforts to expel Haitian migrants on flights to their Caribbean homeland, officials said Saturday as agents poured into a Texas border city where thousands of Haitians have gathered after suddenly crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)© Provided by Associated Press Haitian migrants use a dam to cross into and from the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The U.S. plans to speed up its efforts to expel Haitian migrants on flights to their Caribbean homeland, officials said Saturday as agents poured into a Texas border city where thousands of Haitians have gathered after suddenly crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Mexico’s immigration agency said in a statement Saturday that Mexico has opened a “permanent dialogue” with Haitian government representatives “to address the situation of irregular migratory flows during their entry and transit through Mexico, as well as their assisted return.”Haitian migrants use a dam to cross into and from the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The U.S. plans to speed up its efforts to expel Haitian migrants on flights to their Caribbean homeland, officials said Saturday as agents poured into a Texas border city where thousands of Haitians have gathered after suddenly crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)© Provided by Associated Press Haitian migrants use a dam to cross into and from the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The U.S. plans to speed up its efforts to expel Haitian migrants on flights to their Caribbean homeland, officials said Saturday as agents poured into a Texas border city where thousands of Haitians have gathered after suddenly crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

The agency didn’t specify if it was referring to the Haitians in Ciudad Acuña or to the thousands of others in Tapachula, at the Guatemalan border, and the agency didn’t immediately reply to a request for further details.Haitian migrants use a dam to cross into and from the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The U.S. plans to speed up its efforts to expel Haitian migrants on flights to their Caribbean homeland, officials said Saturday as agents poured into a Texas border city where thousands of Haitians have gathered after suddenly crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)© Provided by Associated Press Haitian migrants use a dam to cross into and from the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The U.S. plans to speed up its efforts to expel Haitian migrants on flights to their Caribbean homeland, officials said Saturday as agents poured into a Texas border city where thousands of Haitians have gathered after suddenly crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

In August, U.S. authorities stopped migrants nearly 209,000 times at the border, which was close to a 20-year high even though many of the stops involved repeat crossers because there are no legal consequences for being expelled under the pandemic authority.Haitian migrants use a dam to cross into and from the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The U.S. plans to speed up its efforts to expel Haitian migrants on flights to their Caribbean homeland, officials said Saturday as agents poured into a Texas border city where thousands of Haitians have gathered after suddenly crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)© Provided by Associated Press Haitian migrants use a dam to cross into and from the United States from Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The U.S. plans to speed up its efforts to expel Haitian migrants on flights to their Caribbean homeland, officials said Saturday as agents poured into a Texas border city where thousands of Haitians have gathered after suddenly crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

___Haitian migrants use a dam to cross into and from the United States from Mexico as well as bathe and do laundry, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The U.S. plans to speed up its efforts to expel Haitian migrants on flights to their Caribbean homeland, officials said Saturday as agents poured into a Texas border city where thousands of Haitians have gathered after suddenly crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

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