ICE Air uses chartered aircraft that can carry about 135 people. The Defense Department is also expected to provide some planes to transfer migrants to other border stations to reduce overcrowding in Del Rio. ICE has flown migrants from Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio to El Paso, Tucson and San Diego for processing.
In recent months, the government has stepped up deportation flights to Mexico, Central America and South America. In August, there were likely 99 removal flights, compared with 46 in July and 35 in June, according to Tom Cartwright, who tracks ICE Air flights for Witness at the Border, an advocacy group.
Haitians account for a small fraction of border crossings, or about 4 percent of the migrants encountered by border agents in August, but dwarfed by Central Americans and Mexicans.
But their numbers have increased in recent months. Nearly 28,000 Haitians have been intercepted by border patrol along the United States-Mexico border in the current fiscal year, which ends September 30, compared to 4,395 in 2020 and 2,046 in 2019. Of the nearly 28,000, fewer than 4,000 were reported, according to the report. most recent border data, covering arrests through the end of August, are covered by the public health rule.
Despite public health measures, the United States has not deported migrant families with young children along some parts of the border because Mexico has refused to accept them. And on some days, Mexicans tell border officials that their shelters are full and can only take in a certain number of migrants.
“There is so much confusion among migrants and asylum seekers about what the situation is at the border and how best to seek protection,” said Robyn Barnard, senior advocate for refugee protection at Human Rights First.
Joselyne Simeus, 32, a native Haitian, had lived in Chile for seven years. When she heard that the United States might allow families, she decided to take her chance. On Saturday, Mrs. Simeus and her 5-year-old son, Samuel, were crammed under the bridge among the arrivals.