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Border backlogs

Human Race: Thousands of Haitian migrants escalate the already-dire border situation


Haitian immigrants cross the Rio Grande back into Mexico from Del Rio, Texas, to avoid deportation. John Moore/Getty Images

Border backlogs
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Encamped

An encampment of mostly Haitian migrants under a bridge between Del Rio, Texas, and Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, swelled to 14,287 occupants at its peak on Sept. 19. U.S. officials said they had expelled thousands of migrants from Del Rio via plane and bus a day later, and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas warned that those entering the country illegally would be returned to their home countries. But some officials said border agents released thousands of Haitians into the United States and gave them notices to appear at an immigration office in 60 days, undercutting the administration’s stance on immediate expulsions. The Associated Press reported the releases were happening on a “very, very large scale.” The United Nations high commissioner for refugees called for the United States to roll back Title 42, a public health rule that rejects most asylum-seekers for fear of coronavirus spread.

Sued

Two out-of-state former attorneys seeking to challenge the Texas heartbeat law sued a San Antonio abortionist. Alan Braid revealed in an opinion column that he provided an abortion to a woman who had a baby with a detectable heartbeat. He wants to test the law in court. Arkansas-based Oscar Stilley said his lawsuit intends to force a court review of the heartbeat law, which allows private citizens to sue people involved in aborting babies with a detectable heartbeat. Felipe Gomez of Chicago called the law a form of government overreach and asked the San Antonio court to declare it unconstitutional.

Tapped

Actress Mayim Bialik and former Jeopardy! contestant Ken Jennings will split hosting responsibilities for the popular game show through December. Short-time host and executive producer Mike Richards left the quiz show abruptly on Aug. 20 after offensive comments from podcast episodes resurfaced. Bialik, who was originally hired as an interim host, will film episodes to air through Nov. 5. After that, she and Jennings, a consulting producer for the show and record holder for the longest winning streak, will take turns as their schedules allow. Sony Pictures Television confirmed it is still searching for a permanent host but did not announce further auditions.

Convicted

On Sept. 20, a Rwandan court convicted Paul Rusesabagina, 67, of forming and financing an illegal armed group and sentenced him to 25 years in prison. Rusesa­bagina gained celebrity status after a 2004 movie told how he saved more than 1,000 people at his hotel during the 1994 genocide. He began criticizing President Paul Kagame for alleged human rights abuses and founded an opposition platform called Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change, which has an armed wing, National Liberation Front (FLN). FLN claimed responsibility for 2018 and 2019 attacks that killed nine Rwandan citizens. Rusesabagina denied inciting violence but admitted sending FLN money. Rusesabagina says the government wants to silence him.

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