A gang known for previous abductions has been blamed for the kidnapping of 17 American missionaries in Haiti on Saturday, NBC News reported.
The Christian Aid Ministries missionaries were kidnapped on their way from the construction of an orphanage, according to a message from Ohio-based ministry, NBC reported.
“This is a special prayer alert,” the ministry’s one-minute message said. “Pray that the gang members would come to repentance.”
The U.S. Embassy is working with the field director of the mission, whose family stayed at the ministry’s base with an unidentified man while the abduction took place, the message said.
Erika Mouynes, Panama’s foreign minister, says the Biden administration was warned in advance about thousands of Haitians heading to the U.S.
About 15,000 migrants recently arrived in Del Rio, Texas. According to the Department of Homeland Security, some were deported but the majority were released into U.S. communities while they await their asylum claim to be adjudicated.
According to Axios, Mouynes said an estimated 60,000 more migrants are making their way to the U.S. Many of the Haitian migrants travel through Panama to get there.
The Biden administration is expected to begin the large-scale expulsion Sunday of thousands of migrants encamped in the Texas border city of Del Rio, using several flights a day to return them to their home country.
The effort is expected to involve two to eight flights daily, sources told the Associated Press.
Migrants began arriving in Del Rio, a frequent destination for illegal immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, several days ago, huddling under a bridge while they wait to be processed by U.S. Border Patrol agents. Many of them are from Haiti.
Thousands of Haitian migrants overwhelmed border officials in Del Rio, Texas, The New York Times reported on Thursday.
Border officials reportedly said that over 9,000 migrants, mostly from Haiti, were waiting to be processed under the Del Rio International Bridge, according to the Times. A few hundred migrants crossed the shallow section of the Rio Grande River to the temporary site earlier this week, and officials reportedly expect thousands more to show up over the next few days.
More Border Patrol agents will be deployed to the area “to immediately address the current level of migrant encounters and to facilitate a safe, humane and orderly process,” the agency said, the Times reported. Migrants are told to wait under the bridge to get out of the hot Texas sun in an effort to stem heat-related illness before they’re taken into custody.