More than 7,500 Haitian migrants were expelled in less than three weeks by the United States, which chartered 70 flights to deport them, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Friday.

No flight for this Friday, according to the IOM, which had not happened since September 19.

Since then, "more than 7,500 people were expelled by the United States to Haiti"said Giuseppe Loprete, IOM director in Haiti.

"During two weeks we had a minimum of three daily flights and up to eight at the most intense moment"he added, indicating that 70 flights had been chartered in total.

The US government of Joe Biden had suspended deportations of irregular migrants to Haiti after the earthquake that devastated the southwest of the Caribbean country on August 14, killing more than 2,200 people.

But the gathering in mid-September of more than 30,000 migrants, mostly Haitians, under a bridge on the Mexico-Texas border changed the rules of the game.

Evoking a health regulation for the covid-19 pandemic, the United States then began a massive deportation of these migrants, 20% of them children, operating daily flights to the capital, Port-au-Prince, and Cap Haitien, the second city of the country.

After a dangerous journey across the continent, these families return to a country torn by gang violence and even poorer than when they left.

A power struggle has also been unfolding since the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse on July 7 at his private residence.

While removals by U.S. immigration services are declining, several countries in the region continue to return hundreds of migrants each week.

Mexico has already operated two flights to Port-au-Prince, with 199 Haitian migrants on board.

But according to Giuseppe Loprete, these expulsions follow a different methodology: "It is an option that is given to the almost 30,000 Haitians who are in Mexico, if someone wants to return to their country, Mexico makes a plane available".

The Bahamas is also increasing the number of forced returns of irregular migrants, without notifying humanitarian actors or local authorities.

"On October 1, in Cap Haitien, we saw the flights arrive and assisted the migrants, but even the Haitian authorities were surprised to see five flights in a single day with 500 people"Loprete said.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here