Haitian migrants have been released from crowded jails in Arizona and California as officials struggle to keep up with the number of those trying to enter the US illegally from Mexico.
They have been released on the condition that they agree to return to immigration court on a decided date and are allowed to live in society monitored by ankle tags until then.
An unnamed official said the immigrants are vetted before release to check for dangerous criminal backgrounds or other threats.
It comes after a surge in the number of Haitians attempting to enter the US this year.
The Associated Press reports that 5,000 Haitians arrived at San Ysidro, one of California’s busiest border crossings, between October 15 and late September this year.
It boosted the illegal immigrant population in jails from 34,000 to 41,000 alongside a surge in other nationalities trying to gain access to the country.
To combat the higher numbers, prison officials have been releasing non-threatening Haitians into the community.
They are released on the condition that they promise to appear at immigration court later to have their cases assessed.
It is a reversal on the government’s recent vow to deport Haitian immigrants who have not faced being sent home for years.
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