A tense situation in Port-au-Prince occurred Tuesday when many deported Haitian migrants expressed anger and some even tried unsuccessfully to get back on a plane returning to the U.S.
The Department of Homeland Security confirmed to Fox News Tuesday that three U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers were injured after “two separate disruptions” by Haitian migrants when they deplaned on the tarmac at Port-au-Prince. The injuries were not life-threatening.
The expulsion flights back to Haiti started on Sunday and more than 500 Haitians have been removed from the country, according to Reuters.
Filippo Grandi, the head of the U.N refugee agency, said the expulsions might violate international law by sending refugees back to life-threatening situations and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the deportations “defy common sense,” Reuters reported.
Yranese Melidor, one of the deported migrants, told Reuters he was angry at his own government. “We were told …that the Haitian government had signed to send us back to Haiti. They are all bad people, these authorities,” he said.
The country has been destabilized in recent months by the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, a destructive earthquake and increasing gang violence, according to Reuters.
“People want to stay home, they don’t want to leave home, but they leave when they cannot satisfy their basic needs,” Vice President Kamala Harris told reporters this week, adding that the U.S. needs to “do a lot more” to support Haitians.
The Haitians are being deported through a coronavirus pandemic policy that allows the U.S. to deny migrants the opportunity to seek asylum for health reasons.
Republicans called the growing size of the migrant camp as an example of Biden’s failings on immigration and despite the deportations, thousands of migrants have been released into the U.S. two anonymous officials told the Associated Press.
Fox News’ Adam Shaw and the Associated Press contributed to this report.