WASHINGTON, USA -- On Thursday, Sarah Saldana, director of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, told the Judiciary Committee of the House in Washington that nearly 40,000 Haitians could be on the way to the United States amid what she called an "emergency situation" on the border with Mexico and California, adding that this estimate came from information from other governments, obtained during a recent trip she made in Central America.
Director of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Sarah Saldana
Saldana said that these newcomers have contributed to the announcement on Thursday by the Department of Homeland Security of the lifting of the special protections shielding Haitians from deportation that were put in place after the 2010 earthquake, noting that changing conditions in Haiti has also played a role in that decision, HaitiLibre
This decision could significantly affect Haitians who come to the US border in California, claiming they lived in Brazil for several years, that they have left for economic reasons and traveled through Central America and Mexico.
Homeland Security officials indicate that about 5,000 Haitians have been stopped at San Diego's San Ysidro port of entry since October, compared to only 339 for the 2015 fiscal year. Large numbers have also turned themselves in to US inspectors in Calexico, California, 120 miles east of San Diego.
The flow of migrants is so great that inspectors at San Ysidro, the busiest border crossing, return Haitians with appointments at a later date, leaving hundreds waiting in Tijuana, Mexico, where many stay in one of five shelters of the border Mexican city.