Fox News reporters captured a crush of illegal immigrants trying to get through a designated entry at the United States southern border Monday, and many of those trying to make their way into Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody were from Haiti — asylum seekers the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said the United States would turn away if they came to the U.S. by boat.
Haitians were part of the group of “400+” migrants who presented themselves at a border entry in order to be taken into CBP custody and, ostensibly, assigned a hearing date on their asylum claims.
“Live on @FoxNews yesterday in Del Rio as large groups of single adult men were allowed to walk through the border gate into the United States & were taken into Border Patrol custody. The men told me they were from Ghana, Haiti, & Brazil. Part of a group of 400+ let in. @FoxNews,” Bill Melugin, a reporter for the network’s L.A. affiliate, noted on social media.
Live on @FoxNews yesterday in Del Rio as large groups of single adult men were allowed to walk through the border gate into the United States & were taken into Border Patrol custody. The men told me they were from Ghana, Haiti, & Brazil. Part of a group of 400+ let in. @FoxNews pic.twitter.com/8KoyY7PDzO
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) July 20, 2021
CBP tried to prioritize families, the network reported, but the crush of migrants was so strong that many single men were able to move through the border entry. Once inside the border and in CBP custody, some asylum seekers, under the Biden administration’s updated immigration policies, are generally given a hearing date and released with instructions to return. Others are expelled under Title 42, which allows the U.S. government to turn back migrants over COVID-19 concerns.
Around 200 of the migrants were loaded onto buses, Fox LA reported.
NEW: Getting a bit hectic here in Del Rio. Massive group of 300+ migrants wants to be let into the US. Some migrant families being let through, but adult men try to force their way through the gate. BP and troopers have to yell at them to get back. @FoxNews pic.twitter.com/7E4KIHmNVs
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) July 19, 2021
It is not clear what happened once the migrants were fully in border patrol custody.
Homeland Security Secretary Majorkas said last week, amid concerns that there could be mass migration from Cuba, which is seeing the largest pro-democracy protests in decades, and from Haiti, whose government is currently in a state of complete disarray following a military coup, that Cubans and Haitians seeking asylum would not be allowed into the country if they arrived by boat.
“Allow me to be clear: if you take to the sea, you will not come to the United States,” Mayorkas told a press conference, echoing immigration-related comments from other Biden administration officials.
Commentators were quick to suggest that Haitians and Cubans should instead consider presenting themselves at the United States-Mexico border, where crisis-level numbers of illegal immigrants have been captured so far this year.
“So if you’re Cuban and you make it to Mexico and you walk across the southern border illegally, they are not returning you to a third country,” former acting DHS secretary Chad Wolf told Fox News last week. “But if you are Cuban and you try and flee by boat over the Florida Straits then they are according to the secretary, so it’s very inconsistent.”
An opinion writer on NBC News’ THINK platform suggested Mayorkas’ comments were an example of the Biden administration’s “border hypocrisy,” particularly given that the Biden administration has implemented heavy restrictions on Haitian immigration.
“Showing any concern for the well-being of Haitians outside the U.S. stands in stark contrast to the Biden administration’s immigration policy, which has increased their expulsion under regulations that make them a top target for removal since the administration assumed office in January,” historian James Stout wrote.
Social media users who caught Fox News’ video were quick to point out that the U.S. could be seeing the flaws in Biden’s immigration policy in action.
“Absolutely absurd what’s going on,” one viewer said, simply.