Disgruntled Haitian migrants who were deported from the U.S. were seen chasing and throwing shoes at the jet that flew them back to their home country after they disembarked.
According to BBC, Tuesday’s chaotic incident occurred at the Toussaint Louverture airport in Port-au-Prince. A migrant who also attempted re-entering the jet was blocked by crew members who quickly closed the doors. Some of the Haitian migrants were reportedly not informed they were being deported to the island nation.
And footage of what ensued at the airport also shows deportees trying to identify and recover their belongings after they were thrown out from the plane.
The deportations, which started last weekend, come after around 13,000 mainly Haitian asylum seekers convened under a bridge connecting Del Rio to Mexico’s Ciudad Acuña on the US-Mexico border. The Department of Home Security says around 4,000 asylum seekers have either been deported or transported to processing centers, per BBC.
But the treatment of the would-be migrants at the border has been sharply criticized. Recently circulated photos showed U.S. border patrol agents on horseback using their reins against the migrants and pushing them back towards the Rio Grande in Texas, Face2Face Africa reported.
Following the backlash, U.S. authorities on Monday announced they were going to investigate the incident. AFP photographer Paul Ratje said many of the Haitians were crossing the river back and forth to get food for their families but were blocked by the horses. U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Monday that the officers were trying to manage the flow of migrants crossing the Rio Grande river from Mexico near Del Rio, Texas.
In a press conference on Wednesday, Rep. Maxine Waters decried the Biden government for their treatment of the Haitian asylum seekers at the southern border, saying what’s happening there “takes us back hundreds of years.”
“What we witnessed was worse than what we witnessed in slavery,” she added, according to The Hill. “Cowboys — with their reins, again — whipping Black people, Haitians, into the water where they’re scrambling and falling down when all they’re trying to do is escape from violence in their country.”
The California Democrat also said she’s “pissed” at the Biden government for “following” former president Trump’s immigration policies.
“I’m not just unhappy with the cowboys who were running down Haitians and using their reins to whip them,” she said. “I’m unhappy with the administration. We are following the Trump policy. He is the one that does not follow the Constitution and would not allow those seeking refuge to be able to petition to get into the country.”
A number of Democrats have criticized their government for using Trump’s Title 42 policy to expel migrants. The order, which was imposed in March 2020 during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, “uses public health grounds to authorize the U.S. government to immediately turn away and expel people seeking asylum at the border,” according to Physicians for Human Rights.