Large numbers of Haitian asylum-seekers who’ve arrived in the US in recent weeks are being released into the country, officials told the Associated Press, after the Biden administration pledged to step up deportation flights.

Haitian refugees have been released on a “very, very large scale” over the last week, one US official with “direct knowledge” of the situation told the AP on Tuesday, suggesting the number could be in the thousands. Another official who declined to be named confirmed that many of the migrants were being processed under immigration laws and had not been placed on expulsion flights back to Haiti, contrary to the administration’s claims.

Some have been given notices to appear at an immigration office within 60 days, the first official said, noting that this process was quicker than ordering an appearance at immigration court, and suggesting it highlighted a sense of urgency among US officials.

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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been busing Haitians to other cities in Texas for processing, after they set up a makeshift encampment under an overpass in Del Rio. Some 14,000 asylum-seekers had gathered there in recent weeks, seeking entry to the US in the wake of last month’s earthquake in their country and the political turmoil after the assassination of their president in July. Some were flown to Tucson, Arizona for processing, the official added. Coast Guard planes have also reportedly taken part in the transportation operation. (RT)