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Mayorkas: About 4,000 migrants in Del Rio have been expelled under Covid-19 public health rule


By Priscilla Alvarez and Chandelis Duster, CNN

About 4,000 migrants apprehended by US Customs and Border Protection in Del Rio, Texas, over the last weeks have been expelled under a public health authority, known as Title 42, and 10,000 to 12,000 migrants have been released into the United States, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Sunday.

“That is a public health authority. It is not an immigration policy. It is exercised as the CDC, the Centers for Disease Control (and Prevention), has ordered, in light of the arc of the pandemic,” Mayorkas told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.” “The public has to remember that we are in the midst of a pandemic. The Delta variant caused a setback. … This is a public health imperative to protect migrants themselves, local communities, our personnel and the American public.”

He also said there are about 13,000 migrants who arrived in Del Rio in that same timeframe that have been put in immigration proceedings to determine whether they can remain in the US or be removed. Approximately 10,000 to 12,000 migrants who were detained in Del Rio, Texas in recent weeks have also been released into the United States, Mayorkas said during a separate interview with Fox News.

“It could be even higher,” Mayorkas said Sunday. “The number that are returned could be even higher. What we do is we follow the law as Congress has passed it.”

It’s the latest update on the repatriation of migrants who amassed in Del Rio. The Department of Homeland Security has been conducting regular repatriation flights to Haiti.

On Saturday, it conducted five repatriation flights, including three flights from Del Rio, Texas to Port-au-Prince, Haiti and two flights from Del Rio, Texas to Cap Haitien, Haiti.

In March 2020, the Trump administration invoked the public health order, Title 42, that allowed border officials to turn back migrants encountered at the US-Mexico border, a move that in effect sealed off the border. Public health officials, at the time, suspected political motivations behind the decision. The Biden administration has relied on the public health order to turn away adults and families apprehended at the US southern border. Unaccompanied children remain exempt from the policy.

Pressed on Democrats’ criticism of the removal of Haitian migrants and continued use of the policy, Mayorkas defended the Biden administration’s immigration actions.

“This administration, the Biden-Harris administration, has indeed rescinded the immoral, unethical and cruel policies, and we are rebuilding a system that’s been entirely dismantled by the prior administration,” Mayorkas said on CNN, adding that the administration studied conditions in Haiti prior to removing Haitians.

The secretary also punted to the CDC when asked about the public health authority that allows the administration to swiftly remove migrant families and adults encountered at the border.

“If they determine that the public health imperative no longer exists and Title 42, which is a statute, a law, need not be applied to protect people, then it will not be applied any longer and we will proceed accordingly,” Mayorkas said.

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CNN’s Geneva Sands contributed to this report.




  1. “expel” means set free around the country.
    what country allows invaders to enter, especially amidst a pandemic, and transports them to various states where they are free to just settle in?
    it’s not a country without borders.

    1. Expelled means “turned back to wherever they came from”. They let 13,000 in pending the outcome of their immigration cases, as the law dictates should be done.

      1. Only 10% of the illegal immigrants they release actually report back. The rest just settle in our country. These people were granted asylum in other countries already. They can’t have double asylum.

        This is an invasion and Biden asked them to come. He is a villain.

  2. Well, that pretty much shows conclusively that the border is indeed wide open.

    Come one, come all, just swarm on in and the Biden administration will let you pass right through. The next wave is probably already assembling.

  3. This is appalling! Where is the backbone of this country!? Definitely not in the Whitehouse! America is an embarrassment! My heart breaks for all who fought and died for our country!

      1. That’s great news someguy. I am heading over to Lowes and I will let all the homeless camping near there that they are welcomed to come to live at your house since you are such a great guy. Since you are going to take care of all the homeless then we will have plenty of resources to provide for those you want to take care of. The whole rest of the world.

      2. by your logic, shouldn’t we then take care of our own family first before e give food to our neighbors? Jeez – there are homeless VETERANS out there. THEY deserve our help.

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