Local priest visits migrants at Texas border amid calls to stop deportations – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports


MIAMI (WSVN) – One of two priests from South Florida who traveled to the US border with Mexico in Texas to meet predominantly Haitian migrants shared his account of his trip, as some clergymen local called on the Biden administration to stop the evictions.

Father Reginald Jean-Mary of Notre Dame d’Haiti parish in Miami spent the last two days at the southern border with another local priest, as they connected with migrants and offered hope.

“If you listen to them, these deportees in Haiti, those we met at the border, it was a shock for them, the way they treated them in the largest land in the world: land of America”, a declared Jean-Marie.

On Sunday, the border in Del Rio, Texas was significantly different from what it was just a week ago. The thousands of mostly Haitian nationals who had gathered have now disappeared.

In South Florida, support for migrants took shape at Bethel Evangelical Baptist Church in Miami Gardens during a service on Sunday.

“We call on the BIden administration to immediately stop the deportation of Haitian migrants,” said Rev. Dr. Keny Felix.

Recently emerged images of US Border Patrol agents on horseback whipping and intimidating migrants have led to a growing chorus calling for change.

“The time has come for us to send a message to this administration, which we know is against discrimination in all its aspects,” said Reverend David Eugene of the Haitian Evangelical Baptist Church.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, around 30,000 migrants have passed through the camp in the past two weeks alone. More than 12,000 have been released in the United States with a pending court date.

Authorities regretted that 5,000 more people were detained by DHS pending their case to be processed. The others have been deported to Haiti or voluntarily returned to Mexico under a public health rule due to COVID-19.

“This is a public health imperative: to protect the migrants themselves, local communities, our staff and the American public,” said DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

Republicans, meanwhile, said the situation makes the White House weak on immigration, and they blamed the Biden administration for the recent increases.

“They sent a message and a signal to the whole world, that they are not going to secure the border, they are going to allow them to pass,” said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

The Biden administration, meanwhile, blamed a grim economic situation in Central and South America, as well as outdated immigration laws. The last major bipartisan attempt at reform failed in 2013.

“I think we are up to the challenges, but we are working in a completely broken system,” Mayorkas said. “I have never heard anyone say that immigration laws are well structured.”

Authorities are currently tracking down another caravan of migrants that has just crossed southern Mexico. The group numbers around 20,000 and could arrive anywhere along the US-Mexico border within the next month.

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