OnPolitics: Haiti refugees flock to Texas border

·4 min read
U.S. Border Patrol agents deter Haitians from returning to the U.S. on the bank of the Rio Grande after migrants crossed back to Mexico for food and water on Sept. 19, 2021.

Good afternoon, OnPolitics readers.

Catching up from this weekend, the highly-anticipated 'Justice for J6' rally drew a smaller crowd than its predecessor did earlier this year.

The far-right rally staged near the heavily-guarded Capitol opened and closed Saturday with a modest gathering of demonstrators who appeared at some points outnumbered by police and journalists.

How many people attended exactly? Capitol Police estimated that the gathering numbered up to 450. But that did not account for a legion of journalists who descended on the Union Square plaza, along with counter-protesters who joined the group.

It's Amy with today's top stories.

'We can't turn back': Thousands of Haitian refugees gather at Texas border

U.S. and Mexican officials took a hard line to discourage Haitians from approaching the border and warned that those in the Texas migrant camp would face rapid removals to Haiti.

More than 14,500 migrants — the vast majority of whom are Haitian, according to Del Rio city officials — are facing high temperatures and poor conditions at a camp under a bridge. Federal and state authorities are mobilizing to move the thousands of people camped under the bridge as quickly as possible.

Why are they at the border? Thousands of Haitian refugees are seeking asylum in the U.S. following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse and a 7.2 magnitude earthquake this year, which killed more than 2,000 people.

Del Rio Mayor Bruno Lozano said on Sunday alone over 2,000 people would be relocated from the bridge to other locations for processing. At least three deportation flights with 145 passengers each arrived Sunday in Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital, and Haiti said six flights were expected Tuesday.

In Mexico, authorities have tightened immigration controls, choking off the entry points to Ciudad Acuña to prevent more migrants from approaching the border.

What are their options? The thousands of Haitians caught in between, both at the encampment and in Ciudad Acuña, are left with few options: try to stay in Mexico or turn themselves in and face the risk of deportation to the country they fled.

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Anti-Trump Republican group targets Texas governor with ad showing wall of COVID victim coffins

A Republican group known for speaking out against former President Donald Trump is calling out Texas governor Greg Abbott after a television ad was pulled blasting his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Lincoln Project, an American political action committee formed in 2019 made up of former and current Republicans, issued a statement questioning why the TV ad that it funded for $25,000 on ESPN during the nationally-televised Texas vs. Rice college football game didn't air. The group said the ad was pulled 10 minutes before it was expected to run, despite ESPN's legal team clearing it beforehand.

The case of the missing ad: The ad was pulled, citing a "university-made" decision. A spokesman for Abbott told The Dallas Morning News he had nothing to do with the decision.

Still, the Lincoln Project asserts that Abbott, a Texas graduate who appoints members of the school’s board of regents, played a part in the ad not running and said it plans to file a public records request to determine that.

What was in the ad? In the un-aired commercial, Abbott is targeted for blame for the 60,000 COVID-19 deaths in the state of Texas. Images of the US southern border wall are shown in the background. The ad's text says: “If Governor Abbott wants to build a new wall, tell him to stop building this one." Then, a wall of coffins is shown. The ad asserts that an 85-mile cemetery from Austin to San Antonio is a result of Abbott's loosened COVID-19 policies.

Did you know? Ten years ago today, President Barack Obama repealed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," which barred openly gay, lesbian and bisexual service members from serving in the military. - Amy

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Haitian refugees flock to Texas border

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