The last people remaining at a Dakota Access pipeline protest camp prayed and set fire to a handful of wooden structures on Wednesday, hours ahead of a deadline set by the Army Corps of Engineers to close the camp.
Some of the praying protesters said burning the structures — which appeared to include a yurt and a teepee — was part of the ceremony of leaving. As heavy rain turned to snow, some said they expected no trouble during the eviction, despite a heavy law enforcement presence. "People are being very mindful, trying very hard to stay in prayer, to stay positive," said Nestor Silva, 37, of California. "I am not aware of any plans for belligerence."
Mexicans fear deportee and refugee camps could be popping up along their northern border under the Trump administration's plan to start deporting to Mexico all Latin Americans and others who entered the U.S. illegally through this country.
Previous U.S. policy called for only Mexican citizens to be sent to Mexico. Migrants known as "OTMs" — Other Than Mexicans — got flown back to their homelands.
Now, under a sweeping rewrite of enforcement policies announced Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, migrants might be dumped over the border into a violence-plagued land where they have no ties while their asylum claims or deportation proceedings are heard in the United States. U.S. officials didn't say what Mexico would be expected to do with them.