CBP: Hundreds of apprehended Haitians had children born in South America


A Haitian woman carries her daughter as she waits outside the Mexican Commission for Migrant Assistance office, to get the documents needed that allow them to stay in Mexico, in Tapachula, early Thursday, June 20, 2019. Border agents in the Del Rio sector in less than a month apprehended more than 1,000 Haitian nationals, many of whom had children who were born in South American countries. (AP Photo/Oliver de Ros)

EL PASO — Border agents in the Del Rio sector apprehended more than 1,000 Haitian nationals, many of whom had children who were born in South American countries, according to a news release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The arrests happened in less than a month and included a group of more than 100 Haitians on June 22, and a group of more than 200 on June 24, the release said. Before June 10, agents in the Del Rio Sector had arrested only 17 Haitian nationals this fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, 2018.

CBP officials said most of the Haitians arrested were families with a biological child who was born in a different country, usually in South America. Officials said many of the families had resided in South American countries for several years prior to departing for the United States, adding that 230 children were born in countries like Chile and Brazil.

“Our agents are seeing a rise in Haitian nationals entering the country illegally which presents challenges that we are meeting headon,” Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul L. Ortiz, said in news release. “We will continue to do everything we can to care for these family units with small children.”

This year alone, the total number of apprehensions in Del Rio Sector has exceeded 40,000, which is more than double the total number of arrests made during the previous fiscal year, officials said. More than 34,000 of the individuals arrested this year are from approximately 49 countries other than Mexico.

Officials said all immigrants arrested are medically evaluated and are referred to medical professionals for more advanced care if needed.

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