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News > U.S.

US Deports Nearly 4,000 People to Haiti in Migration Crisis

  • Many being deported to Haiti have not been back in years, and are returning amid political crisis, earthquake destruction and gang violence that has displaced thousands.

    Many being deported to Haiti have not been back in years, and are returning amid political crisis, earthquake destruction and gang violence that has displaced thousands. | Photo: Twitter/@ajplus

Published 28 September 2021 (4 hours 1 minutes ago)
Opinion

In Mexico City, shelters for migrants are overflowing with the arrival of hundreds of Haitians.

Since the most recent migration crisis began on the United States' southern border, nearly 4,000 Haitians have been repatriated to Port-au-Prince. Another 12,400 were removed from the camps where they were being held by the U.S. immigration authorities.

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas even said that the number, in both cases, could be much higher after the federal government dismantled some of the irregular camps set up on the southern border.

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The government of Joe Biden imposed, in the face of the growing number of migrants crowded in the U.S., massive deportations of Haitian citizens to the Caribbean country.

Some 2,000 have been deported by plane to Haiti, 8,000 have returned voluntarily to Mexico and 5,000 have been transferred to reception centers.

Those deported from the U.S. find on their arrival in Haiti a capital, Port-au-Prince, increasingly more dangerous than the one they left, where most of the population has no access to essential services such as drinking water or electricity.

For its part, the United Nations Children's Fund warned that more than two out of every three Haitians who returned from the United States are women and children, including some newborns.

While Mayorkas said that all the Haitian migrants concentrated in Del Rio, Texas, left their makeshift camps Friday night, he acknowledged that more could arrive in the coming days and weeks.

This is congruent with what was said by the Panamanian Ministry of Security, who announced that at this moment, there would be between 3,500 and 4,000 migrants passing through the migratory reception stations of Darien and Chiriqui, all of them on their way to the United States.

Last week, starting on Tuesday 21, a double wave of Haitian migrants, most of them to document themselves and stay in the country, began to move from the north and the south towards Mexico City.

In a little less than four days, the shelters managed by religious organizations and migrant advocates reached their capacity limit and are now overflowing.

Magdalena Silva, a Josephine nun who manages the Cafemin shelter for migrant families, assures that these new flows are not only in transit, nor will they leave in two or three months.

For this advocate, "this is a new migratory crisis, whether the authorities want to admit it or not."

The Shelter and Training Center for Migrant Women and Families is also well over capacity to receive migrants, this time Haitians mainly coming from Chile or Brazil. 

Many of the Haitians who had started their journey to the United States decided to return to Mexico. Thousands of others have entered the United States but are awaiting a hearing with a judge to determine if they can remain in the United States.

Mexico City's head of government, Claudia Sheinbaum, stated that she did not see the need to open shelters for the groups of Haitians. "It is not going to be a very long stay in the city," she said.

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