According to one U.S. official, Haitians were freed on a "very large scale" in recent times. According to the official who had direct knowledge of the operations, he spoke under anonymity and was not allowed to speak publicly about it Tuesday.
Many were released with notices that they must appear in an immigration office within 60-days. This is a quicker process than ordering appearances in immigration court, and it reflects the speed at which authorities move, the official stated.
According to the official, the Homeland Security Department has been transporting Haitians from Del Rio to El Paso to Laredo and Rio Grande Valley, along the Texas border. This week, they added flights to Tucson, Arizona. The Border Patrol processes them at these locations.
Another U.S. official with direct knowledge, speaking under the condition of anonymity, stated that large numbers of Haitians are being processed according to immigration laws, and not placed on flight to Haiti. This was effective as of Sunday. The official could not be more specific.
The administration's decision not to release many people from Haiti is a relief for those who want to travel to the United States.
Mackenson Veillard, a pregnant woman, waited outside a Del Rio gas station for a Greyhound Bus that would take them to San Antonio, three hours after they left the camp under the International Bridge.
Veillard was among the many who were processed and released Monday. This could be because his wife is due in two months.
"I felt so stressed," Veillard said. "But now, I feel better. It's almost like I'm starting over.
The White House is already under fire from bipartisans for releasing many Haitians without any clear criteria. Republicans claim that the policies of the Biden administration led Haitians to believe they could get asylum. After images of Border Patrol agents riding on horseback and using aggressive tactics against migrants went viral, Democrats have expressed outrage.
Advocates and attorneys claim that they have not been allowed to see the migrant camp under the international bridge in Del Rio, and that officials have given them very little information about the situation with the immigrant population.
"Everyone in this country, and all over the world, should be outraged at the existence of an immigration system that functions as a black box. Wade McMullen is an attorney at Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights in Washington, D.C., and has no access to information about the processes or protections being offered for migrants. McMullen had been to Del Rio to help other advocacy groups that assist the camp's immigrants.
Advocates don't know how many immigrants have been deported and how many have been allowed to return to the U.S., he added.