A top U.S. immigration official says 40,000 Haitians may be on their way to the United States amid what she calls an “emergency situation” on California’s border with Mexico.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Sarah Saldana said Thursday in Washington that the estimate came from other governments during a recent trip she made to Central America.
Saldana told the House Judiciary Committee that word of the new arrivals contributed to the Homeland Security Department’s announcement on Thursday that it was lifting special protections shielding Haitians from deportation that were put in place after their country’s 2010 earthquake. She says changing conditions in Haiti also played a part.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security says it is widening efforts to deport Haitians, a response to thousands of immigrants from the Caribbean nation who overwhelmed California border crossings with Mexico in recent months.