Haitian migrants in federal custody have “hijacked” multiple buses during transport rides and forced out drivers in incidents that threaten to stop the U.S. government’s immigration enforcement operations, according to three people familiar with the incidents.
“They’ve been basically overpowering the drivers and they’ve actually hijacked a couple of the buses and driven them down the road a little ways and escaped. This happened multiple times,” a senior federal law enforcement official told the Washington Examiner Tuesday evening.
The incidents have occurred aboard the boarded-up school buses and commercial coach buses transporting Haitian migrants from the camp beneath the Del Rio-Ciudad Acuna International Bridge to processing centers across the region, as well as from the processing centers to local airports for deportation flights.
“They’re moving the detainees, but they’re not shackled — they’re not restrained in any way. Yesterday some detainees kicked a window out and 22 escaped,” the same official said, referring to an incident on Monday.
“Now they’re going to start doing high-risk escorts,” the official added.
On Monday afternoon,a bus bound for San Antonio, Texas, was taken over during the two-and-a-half-hour trip from the international bridge in Del Rio. The migrants on board had been picked up from the makeshift migrant camp, where thousands are waiting to be taken into custody.
“They did break out of the bus, and they did escape,” a second federal law enforcement official confirmed to the Washington Examiner on Tuesday.
Law enforcement searched for the escapees and recaptured them that evening.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to requests for comment.