US deportation flights took 7,500 to Haiti: IOM

Port-au-Prince (AFP) –

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

Tens of thousands of migrants, mostly Haitian, had crossed the Mexico-Texas border since the middle of September, prompting the US government to launch an emergency expulsion program.

"For two weeks we had a minimum of three flights a day and up to eight during the most intense period," Giuseppe Loprete, director of IOM in Haiti, said.

The unprecedented mass deportations came after huge crowds of migrants gathered at a bridge on the Mexico-Texas border, hoping to be granted entry to the United States.

Several thousand were released into the country and will have their cases heard by an immigration judge. Thousands more are being processed, while many others voluntarily returned to Mexico.

Haitians who travelled through Latin America to get to the United States returned to their home country that is plagued by gang violence, political instability and poverty.

US Republicans seized on the situation to attack President Joe Biden, accusing him of failing to secure the country's border.