The U.S. has pushed out almost 4,000 Haitian migrants from the country over the course of nine days, CBS reports. The development comes as a part of a major deportation effort by the Biden Administration under the emergency pandemic-era policy.
Title 42, which was enacted during former President Donald Trump’s leadership, allows U.S. Border Patrol and U.S. Customs to prohibit entry to anyone who poses a health risk because of their place of origin or because they’ve entered illegally, bypassing health screening procedures. According to ABC, advocates are saying the measure is unlawful because it stands to violate the country’s current asylum laws.
From Sept. 19 to Sept. 27, 3,936 migrants on expulsion flights landed in Haiti— about 44% of the groups were comprised of women and children, Chief Giuseppe Loprete of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said. Over 210 passengers were children born in Chile, Brazil, Venezuela and Panama and were separated from their Haitian-born parents.
The IOM has been assisting those expelled, offering meals, hygiene kits, feminine products and a per-person stipend equivalent to $100 at the Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haitien airports.
“They’re very distressed. They start crying the moment they arrive. I’ve seen young, strong guys — some freak out,” Loprete told CBS. “Women cry. Kids cry because they see the women crying.”
Haiti’s unelected leader Ariel Henry tells CNN that he understands why Haitian migrants are being deported from the U.S. and says those who’ve fled are welcome to return to their home country. He also shared that the country’s elections will be postponed to next year upon a review of its constitution.
“We saw some of the mistreatment that these Haitians suffered and it struck us a lot,” Henry told the outlet. “What we are saying is that as long as there are countries that are better off than others, there will always be an appeal towards those wealthier.”
“We are not responsible for their deportation [and Haiti] cannot interfere in the internal affairs of the United States however all Haitians who return to their native soil are entitled to a welcome,” Henry continued.