A March 2022 report from Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and the Haitian Bridge Alliance recounted several examples of family separations during a mass migration event in Del Rio, Texas in September 2021.
Another Haitian asylum seeker traveled to Del Rio with her husband and their three-year-old son. The woman’s husband had adopted the child and they had been living as a family since his birth. After spending five days in the encampment, the husband was separated from his wife and child and was deported back to Haiti. A significant number of Haitian migrants also reported being separated from their spouses. For example, after spending seven days in the encampment, a Haitian woman reported that she was separated from her husband during CBP processing and was unable to contact him. She suspected that he was deported to Haiti.
In addition to the separation of minor children from parents and legal guardians, Haitian and other migrants from the encampment also reported DHS forcibly separating them from the extended family members they were traveling with, including grandparents, aunts, uncles, and siblings. For example, one Haitian asylum seeker who had been traveling with her twin sister reported that when they were issued tickets and processed by CBP personnel in the encampment, while she was allowed to enter the United States and was taken to the local respite center, her twin was taken into custody and deported back to Haiti—despite the fact that they had virtually identical asylum claims and circumstances. A Haitian woman who was traveling with her husband, infant child, and sister reported that in the Del Rio encampment, her sister was separated from the couple and deported to Haiti. A Venezuelan woman and her three-year-old child were separated from her elderly mother in the Del Rio encampment. The woman was unable to communicate with her mother and had no knowledge of what happened to her.
—Beyond the Bridge: Documented Human Rights Abuses and Civil Rights Violations Against Haitian Migrants in the Del Rio, Texas Encampment (United States: Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and Haitian Bridge Alliance, March 29, 2022) https://rfkhr.imgix.net/asset/Del-Rio-Report.pdf.
Footnotes from above:
: In-person interview by RFK Human Rights lawyer with Haitian individual in Acuña, Mexico (Sept. 24, 2021).: In-person interview by RFK Human Rights lawyer with Haitian individual in Acuña, Mexico (Sept. 24, 2021).: In-person interview by HBA case worker with Haitian individual in Del Rio, Texas (Sept. 21, 2021).: In-person interview by RFK Human Rights lawyer with Haitian individual in Acuña, Mexico (Sept. 24, 2021).: In-person interview by RFK Human Rights lawyer with Venezuela individual in Del Rio, Texas (Sept. 22, 2021).