Many of the thousands have been released into the country with notices to appear at an immigration court within 60 days, one source told the AP.The Homeland Security Department has been busing Haitians from Del Rio to El Paso, Laredo and Rio Grande Valley along the Texas border, and this week added flights to Tucson, Arizona, the official said. They are processed by the Border Patrol at those locations.
Expulsion flights back to Haiti started on Sunday and more than 500 have been removed, according to Reuters.
The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the matter.
Back in Port-au-Prince, many of the deported Haitians expressed their anger and at least one migrant tried unsuccessfully to get back on a plane returning to the U.S., according to Reuters.
“I am angry at the [Haitian] government,” Yranese Melidor, another deported migrant, told Reuters. “We were told …that the Haitian government had signed to send us back to Haiti. They are all bad people, these authorities.”
The head of the U.N refugee agency said the expulsions might violate international law by sending refugees back to life-threatening situations and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the deportations “defy common sense,” Reuters reported.
DHS confirmed to Fox News Tuesday that three U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers were injured after “two separate disruptions” by Haitian migrants when they deplaned on the tarmac at Port-au-Prince. The injuries were not life-threatening.
“On Tuesday, Sept. 21, some adult migrants caused two separate disruptions on the tarmac after deplaning in Port-au-Prince, Haiti,” a DHS spokesperson said. “Haitian crowd control officers responded to both incidents and resolved the situations. ICE fully respects the rights of all people to peacefully express their opinions, while continuing to perform its immigration enforcement mission consistent with our priorities, federal law and agency policy.”
U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., questioned Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ on DHS’s sluggish response time during a Tuesday Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing on “Threats to the U.S.”
Mayorkas responded that Ossoff’s concern was “resonant” and that DHS has “done an internal review on the pace” of their responsiveness as well as “implemented new procedures” to decrease response time.
Ossoff had joined a number of Republicans on the committee in hammering Mayorkas on the backlog of requests to the department.
Mayorkas had visited the migrant camp on Monday.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Department of Homeland Security didn’t immediately respond to Fox News’ request for confirmation.
Fox News’ Adam Shaw and Houston Keene and the Associated Press contributed to this report.