Home News US restarts deportation flights to Haiti

US restarts deportation flights to Haiti

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Immigration officials returned dozens of Haitians to their home country on Thursday, according to three administration officials, the first deportation by the U.S. government in months as the country has been hit by widespread violence.

Deportation flights are often seen as a way to deter migrants from crossing the southern border without authorization. The United States has been concerned about Haitian immigration since gangs took over the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, this year. Plan to resign Prime Minister Ariel Henry.

The deportation flights were the first since January and come as the Biden administration continues to take tougher measures at the southern border to reduce the number of migrants entering the country without authorization. President Biden faces intense Republican scrutiny on the border, with immigration becoming a key issue in the campaign.

In recent months, however, the rate of migrants crossing the border has been lower than before.

Still, Thursday’s deportation flights took many immigrant advocacy groups by surprise. The U.S. government itself advises Americans not to visit Haiti, citing “kidnapping, crime, civil unrest and poor medical infrastructure” and has previously asked families of U.S. officials stationed in Haiti to leave.

“Not only is this morally wrong and a violation of U.S. and international law, but it is simply bad foreign policy,” said Guerline Jozef, director of the San Diego-based advocacy group Haitian Bridge Alliance.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said in a statement that it had “repatriated approximately 50 Haitian nationals to Haiti.”

“Individuals will be deported only if they are found to have no lawful basis to remain in the United States,” the statement continued.

A March report from the U.N. human rights office said More than 1,500 people He has been killed in gang violence in Haiti so far this year and described the country as being in a “catastrophic situation”.

Biden administration Granted to Haitians They have until the end of 2022 to gain temporary protection from deportation due to ongoing problems in Haiti.

Some congressional Democrats, including Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, have urged the administration to extend those protections to Haitians who have entered the country since 2022 and to continue a moratorium on deportations of people flying to Haiti. flight.

News of the resumption of deportations drew condemnation from other House Democrats. “Given the current danger and the lack of central government, we should not be deporting people to Haiti. Period,” Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal explain on social media.

Adam Isaacson of the human rights group’s Washington office on Latin America said Haitians were mainly waiting at ports of entry for appointments to enter the United States through government apps rather than crossing the border, as the government encouraged.

“It is difficult to explain the urgency of deporting Haitians,” he said in a text message. “Haiti ranked 15th among countries where citizens crossed the border irregularly over the past six months, well behind China, India and even Turkey.”

Thomas Cartwright, who tracks government deportation flights for the advocacy group Border Witnesses, said there have been no recent commercial flights to the Port-au-Prince airport. Last month, gunfire erupted around the airport.

This week, the State Department It’s the airport The airport in Haiti’s capital is closed, but “limited” flights to two other airports in the country have resumed.

U.S. officials deported the Haitians on Thursday to one of the airports in Cap-Haitien, a coastal city a few hours north of the capital. Cartwright said the U.S. typically flies deported migrants to the capital, although it also flew some flights to Cap-Haïtien in 2021.



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