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Two Haitian boys cross the water at the US-Mexico border on the Rio Grande. Photo: PAUL RATJE/AFP via Getty Images

Several United Nations agencies on Tuesday expressed concern over the U.S. deportation of Haitian migrants and asylum seekers, Reuters reports.

What they're saying: "While some people arriving at the border may not be refugees, anyone who ... claims to have a well-founded fear of being persecuted in their country of origin — they should have access to asylum and to have their claim assessed before being subjected to expulsion or deportation," said UN Refugee Agency spokesperson Shabia Mantoo, per Reuters.

  • "We are disturbed by the images that we have seen and by the fact that we have seen all these migrants and refugees and asylum-seekers in transport to Port-au-Prince," said UN human rights spokesperson Marta Hurtado.
  • "We are seriously concerned by the fact that it appears there have not been any individual assessments of the cases," she added.

The big picture: More than 10,000 migrants and asylum seekers have been temporarily staying in a crowded camp under the bridge that connects Texas and Mexico after crossing the Southern border.

  • Many are fleeing extreme poverty, disaster and political unrest.
  • In recent days, the U.S. has started deportation flights to Haiti under Title 42. The Trump-era policy allows the government to fast-track deportations during the pandemic. Immigrant rights groups have called the policy "racist" and "illegal."

Images of Border Patrol agents whipping migrants in Del Rio prompted outrage on Monday, with many pointing to the agency's history of violence against people of color.

  • A Department of Homeland Security told Axios that the agency "does not tolerate the abuse of migrants in our custody and we take these allegations very seriously."
  • Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Professional Responsibility is currently investigating the incident.

Go deeper

Blinken warns Haitian migrants against "profoundly dangerous" journey to U.S.

Photo: Daniel Cardenas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday warned Haitian migrants in Mexico that they would not succeed in making it to the United States, calling the journey "profoundly dangerous," Reuters reports.

Driving the news: "The journey is profoundly dangerous and it will not succeed," Blinken said at a news conference in Mexico's capital, per Reuters.

Federal agencies reveal climate challenges

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Federal agencies are out with the first iteration of new climate adaptation and resilience plans under the Biden administration.

Catch up fast: The reports released by the White House Thursday come in response to an executive order issued by President Biden on Jan. 28.

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP senator calls for senility test for aging leaders

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), a physician, told me during an "Axios on HBO" interview that he favors cognition tests for aging leaders of all three branches of government.

Why it matters: Wisdom comes with age. But science also shows that we lose something. And much of the world is now run by old people — including President Biden, 78 ... Speaker Pelosi, 81 ...  Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, 70 ... and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, 79.