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Faced with a surging flood of undocumented migrants, mostly from Haiti, at the Del Rio, Texas, border, the U.S. government on Sunday, Sept. 19, closed off the Mexican border in that city indefinitely and began flying some of the illegal immigrants back to their homeland.

Yellow tape and government vehicles blocked the path of the migrants, who had been crossing illegally into the country from Ciudad Acuna, Coahuila, for the last three weeks.

As of Saturday, Sept. 18, nearly 15,000 Haitians had made the trek into the United States via a small dam and had been housed under the official crossing bridge.

Also on Sunday, the United States sent the first three flights of the Haitian migrants back to the island nation, even though many of them had been living in Latin America for the last few years.

In response to demands by Del Rio Mayor Bruno Lozano and Texas Governor Greg Abbott, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Saturday, Sept. 18, transferred about 2,000 of the migrants to government facilities and began processing them for deportation.

Legal travelers on both sides of the border wishing to cross the Del Rio checkpoint were redirected to Eagle Pass, some 90 kilometers away.

Meanwhile, Homeland Security issued a statement on Sunday reiterating that “our borders are not open, and people should not make the dangerous journey.”

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