The number of flights per month decreased after that but rose again in January, when there were 36. There were a total of 39 flights from February to April, and the number shot up again in May, with many families and children younger than 3 aboard the 36 flights that month.
After an infant died in a Haitian hospital shortly after arriving on an expulsion flight in January, the International Organization for Migration asked the Biden administration to halt the expulsions of young children. .
From May 19 to 26, U.S. border officials encountered 1,868 Haitians who had crossed the southwestern border, according to internal government data. During that period, there were 21 expulsion flights to Haiti. In comparison, over the same period, they countered 5,264 Guatemalans and 4,453 Hondurans, and the United States sent seven expulsion flights to each country.
“Haiti can do nothing to slow deportations,” said Daniel Foote, a former special envoy to Haiti who resigned last year in protest of the Biden administration’s handling of the mass migration crisis in Del Rio. Yet sending thousands back to Haiti, which he described as a failed state, would only exacerbate the situation, he said.
“It’s counterproductive to a stable Haiti, which is critical to stop them from migrating in the first place,” Mr. Foote said, referring to Haitian migrants.
Officials at the Department of Homeland Security said there had not been any policy change regarding Haitian expulsions. The White House declined to comment.
One federal official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss a foreign policy matter, said the expulsion flights to Haiti were not disproportionate to those sent to other countries. The official said the government negotiated agreements with other countries about the number of flights it could send. The negotiations allowed for flexibility so that the United States could quickly increase the number of flights to a certain country if there were a need. That was what had happened with Haiti, he said.