Biden Admin Deports 50 Haitians Back to Country Struggling With Gang Violence

Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Air Operations flew roughly 50 Haitians back to their home country on April 18, marking the first deportation flight to Haiti in months as the country is mired in gang violence.

In an April 19 statement, ICE announced that multiple removal flights were conducted during the week of April 15, including to Haiti, Columbia, Mexico, Peru, and the Dominican Republic.

Homeland Security said the department would continue enforcing US immigration laws in the Florida Straits and Caribbean as well as the southern border, including repatriating non-citizens with no legal basis to remain in the US.

According to the advocacy group Witness at the Border, the April 18 flight left the Alexandria, Louisiana deportation hub before stopping in Miami on its way to Cap-Haitien, Haiti.

In the two weeks following the eruption of gang violence in Port-au-Prince, over 33,000 Haitians fled the capital, according to a March report from the United Nations’ International Organization for Migration. The majority of those fled to the southern region of the country.

From December 2022 until January 2024, Immigration and Customs Enforcement operated one deportation flight to Haiti each month.

Witness at the Border said the deportation flights spiked in the fall of 2021 after thousands of Haitian migrants crossed the border in Del Rio, Texas.

In the first three months of 2024, only 286 Haitians were apprehended at the US-Mexico border, amounting to less than 0.1 percent of the over 400,000 migrants apprehended. Another 150,000 Haitians entered the US legally since January last year, mostly under the presidential power to grant humanitarian entry.

In March, the US Coast Guard stopped 65 Haitians off the coast of the Bahamas and repatriated them to Haiti.

The Department of Homeland Security said it was continuing to monitor the situation in Haiti.