TEXAS, United States – With the recent violent protests in Haiti, nearly 200 Haitian immigrants have flooded the US border over the past week, a significant jump from the norm.
Fox News has reported that over the past week, more than 180 Haitians have been arrested by Border Patrol agents at the Del Rio Station in Texas, a figure greater than the number of Haitians apprehended over the past three years nationwide, a Department of Homeland Security official told Fox News on June 19.
Prior to this, only 17 Haitians had been apprehended since Oct. 1, 2018, in the Del Rio Sector, according to the Border Patrol.
CBP arrested a group of 14 people from Haiti on June 11. Over the next week, Del Rio agents encountered increasingly larger groups of Haitian nationals, including a group of 44 on June 17.
Since 2016, the United States has, on average, apprehended about 165 Haitian immigrants each year- until now.
Del Rio Sector agents have apprehended over 36,000 illegal immigrants total this year, more than double the total number of arrests made during the previous fiscal year. More than 29,000 of the individuals arrested this year, over 80 percent, are from some 44 countries other than Mexico.
There have recently been violent protests in Haiti against President Jovenel Moïse over corruption allegations, which may have prompted the uptick in migrants making their way to the U.S.
The ongoing protests in Haiti began in February, with citizens demanding the resignation of Moise amid allegations that he was involved in an embezzlement scheme. The accusations came from a report by judges of the country’s High Court of Auditors, who claim that Moise siphoned off Venezuelan aid funds.
But, despite saying he has “heard the voice of the people”, Moise has refused to resign.
Throughout the months of the protests, many businesses, schools, and government offices, especially in the capital city Port-au-Prince, have closed.
As the political tension continues to mount, many citizens have lost their lives including Haitian Radio Journalist Pétion Rospide, while hundreds have been injured.