For a week, the couple camped under the bridge in Del Rio Texas with thousands of others, sleeping on concrete and getting by on bread, water, and bottled water.
Veillard, 25, stated this week that she felt stressed. "But now, I feel better. It's almost like I'm starting over.
Two U.S. officials claim that many Haitian migrants living in Del Rio are being freed in the United States. This contradicts the Biden administration's public statement that thousands of camp residents were at risk of expulsion to Haiti.
Officials claim that Haitians were freed in recent days on a "very large scale." Official who wasn't authorized to speak on the subject and spoke under anonymity said that the number was in the thousands.
Many were released with notices that they must appear in an immigration office within 60-days. This is a quicker outcome than ordering appearances in immigration court, and reflects the speed authorities are moving.
These releases were made despite massive efforts to expel Haitians from flights under pandemic related authority that denies migrants the right to seek asylum. Unauthorized to discuss operations, a third U.S. official said that seven daily flights were planned to Haiti starting Wednesday.
According to Haitian officials who did not provide an exact count, ten flights arrived in Haiti in planes that could carry 135 passengers. Six of those flights, however, were said to have carried 713 migrants.
According to some estimates, the camp housed more than 14,000 people during the weekend. Texas Governor. Greg Abbott visited Del Rio Tuesday and said that the top official of the county told him that the latest tally was 8,600 migrants. The U.S. authorities declined to disclose how many migrants were released in the United States in recent days.
The Homeland Security Department has been busing Haitians to El Paso, Laredo, and the Rio Grande Valley along Texas' border. This week, however, there were additional flights to Tucson, Arizona. The Border Patrol processes them at these locations.
Although the criteria for deciding who is allowed to fly to Haiti and who is freed in the U.S. remain a mystery, two officials stated that single adults are the priority. If past handling of asylum seekers is any indication, the administration will likely release anyone deemed vulnerable. This includes pregnant women, young families, and people with medical problems.
Unaccompanied children are exempted from expulsion flights by the Biden administration for humanitarian reasons.
Wade McMullen of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights said that the system is a "blackbox". He was in Del Rio as an attorney. "Right now we don't have any official access to know what is happening and what protections are being offered for migrants."
More than 300 migrants were dropped off at the Val Verde Border Humanitarian Coalition welcome center on Wednesday afternoon. They waited to board buses to Houston, which would take them to their final destination in the U.S. Many had to wear ankle monitors to make sure they obeyed instructions and report to immigration authorities.
"Hello. Lupita De la Paz, volunteer, greeted them in Spanish. We will assist you. You've arrived in Del Rio Texas. It is a small community. There aren't many choices. We can help you get there."
Rabbiatu Yunusah (34), waited for her 3-year-old girl Laila as she headed to Huntsville, Alabama, with an uncle. She was "very happy to have been in this country, and to be free."
Jimy Fenelon (25), and Elyrose Prophete (8 months pregnant) left camp Tuesday to head to Florida with an uncle.
"Everyone has their luck. Fenelon stated that some people didn't have the luck to get there.
Accounts of large-scale releases, some seen in Del Rio by Associated Press journalists, are inconsistent with statements Monday made by Alejandro Mayorkas (Homeland Security Secretary), who visited Del Rio to promise quick action.
He said that if you illegally enter the United States, you will be deported, your journey won't succeed and you will endanger your family's lives."
When asked by Homeland Security to comment on the release in the United States, Homeland Security stated Wednesday that migrants not expelled immediately to Haiti could be detained or freed with a notice to appear at an immigration court or report to an office. This depends on how much custody space is available.
The department released a statement saying that the Biden Administration had reiterated that the country's borders were not open and that people shouldn't make dangerous journeys. Border restrictions include expulsion and expulsion for individuals and families.
Mexico began flying Haitian migrants to the U.S. border. this is a sign of a new level support for the United States.
Bipartisan criticism is directed at the White House. Republicans claim that the policies of the Biden administration led Haitians to believe that they would be granted asylum. After images of Border Patrol agents riding on horseback and using aggressive tactics against migrants went viral, Democrats have expressed outrage.
McMullen stated that immigrants described the screening process at camp, where they were given colored tickets for four types of people: single men, single women, pregnant women and families with young kids. McMullen and other advocates found that the vast majority of immigrants interviewed and released to the U.S. were families with young children or pregnant women.
Wilgens Jean, his wife Junia Michel, and their family waited in Del Rio for $439 to be sent by relatives to Springfield, Ohio where Jean's brother resides. Michel, who is pregnant was found sheltering under the shade provided by the parking lot from the scorching heat. She only asked for sunscreen, which she gently rubbed onto her belly.
Two backpacks and a garbage bag were placed on the concrete. They contained everything they owned. They arrived in Del Rio camp in five days after leaving Haiti in April. Jean stated that his wife was pregnant and they were released from camp on Monday.
Jean stated, "I entered by crossing a river." Jean said, "Immigration gave my a ticket."
Veillard hopes to eventually move to New York City with his sister after a brief stay in San Antonio with his family. To support his family, he will accept any job that he can.
Veillard and his wife, who left Haiti four years earlier, had lived in Brazil for the past four years before they set out on their journey to the United States. Much of the trip was done by foot.
He said, "I don’t know what I’m going to feel tomorrow, but I feel lucky."