Democrats in Congress, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, have urged the administration to halt the expulsions, citing the dire circumstances in Haiti. The United Nations, which rarely criticizes U.S. policy, has also denounced the expulsions of Haitians as “inconsistent with international norms.”
Democratic lawmakers have also expressed outrage at recent footage that showed Border Patrol agents on horseback aggressively rounding up and chasing Haitian migrants in Del Rio. Mayorkas, the DHS secretary, said he expects an internal investigation into the incidents to conclude next week.
The rapid pace of the deportations to Haiti could make the operation one of the largest and swiftest U.S. mass expulsions of migrants by air. The effort also highlights the discrepancy in the Biden administration’s different statements and policies regarding deportations to Haiti.
Following the August 14 earthquake that killed more than 2,000 people, U.S. deportation flights to Haiti were halted. They resumed last week after the U.S. made an assessment that conditions in the country had “sufficiently improved.”
But a few weeks prior, when the U.S. shielded Haitians who were in the U.S. as of July 29 from deportation, DHS said the move was justified because Haiti was “grappling with a deteriorating political crisis, violence, and a staggering increase in human rights abuses.”