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Why so many Haitian migrants are crossing the U.S. Mexico border

Misinformation and the pandemic fueling the surge

HOUSTON — According to immigration experts, these migrants are not coming directly from Haiti. After the devastating earthquake in 2010, tens of thousands of Haitians poured into Chile and Brazil. Most were looking for jobs and did get humanitarian visas. But as the pandemic took a toll, sentiment in the countries turned against the migrants, job opportunities dried up and reports of racism rose.

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Misinformation spread fueling surge

Then in May, the Biden administration extended temporary protected status to 150,000 Haitians in the United States. But that only applied to Haitians already in this country. People who work with migrants say a wave of misinformation spread, leading some to believe they could find refuge in the U.S. In recent weeks, that meant hundreds poured across the U.S. Mexico border.

Deportation flights to Haiti resume

Now the Biden administration has resumed deportation flights to Haiti. The migrants returning to the country report they fear for their lives, no longer speak the language after living abroad for years and have nowhere to go. This comes as the country still tries to recover from the assassination of its president and another devastating earthquake this summer.

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