The 35-year-old father weighed his options: return to the United States, where he could be sent back to Haiti, or stay in Mexico as authorities close in on him and other immigrants.
Wood, who declined to give his full name for fear of retaliation from the United States or Mexico for speaking out, said he had no plan but had to form one if he had to. take care of his wife and two daughters.
“I would love to stay here in Mexico, but I’m scared because I don’t have permission to be here,” Wood told BuzzFeed News. “But the United States can kick us out. I don’t know what to do.”
Like the hundreds of immigrants who left camp in Del Rio, Texas this week to try to avoid being airlifted to Haiti, the walls are closing in on them, this time on the Mexican side of the border. Immigration agents, flanked by soldiers and armed police, carried out day and night raids on the streets of Ciudad Acuña, where they detained and transported immigrants to Mexico’s southern states. For days, immigrants moved back and forth across the precarious Rio Grande, moving to the side of the border that seemed friendliest to them.
Before dawn on Thursday, Mexican immigration officers entered the camp, flanked by local police and the National Guard. The mostly Haitian immigrants who lived in a park in Ciudad Acuña woke up with a start. The presence of Mexican authorities was enough to scare some of them to the US side of the border, a place they had previously abandoned after the Biden administration began sending hundreds of immigrants back to Haiti. No one was detained in the park, but the threat loomed.
The Biden administration moved thousands of immigrants from the Del Rio area to other parts of the border, to be processed domestically or deported. He relied, in large part, on Title 42 policy, which cites the pandemic as a reason for allowing border agents to quickly turn back asylum seekers, to rid Camp Del Rio of thousands of Haitians. Within days, the United States returned nearly 2,000 immigrants to Haiti. Friday, other flights were expected to the country, in difficulty following an earthquake and a presidential assassination.