A. Situation analysis
Description of the disaster
Following Haiti's 14 August 2021 earthquake, the United States suspended deportations of Haitians in irregular situations. However, the gathering and entry into the United States of several thousand people, mainly Haitians, from Mexico changed the situation. Once in U.S. territory, approximately 15,000 people remained in an improvised camp located under the Del Rio International Bridge in the town of the same name in the U.S. state of Texas.
Based on U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) figures, between 19 and 29 September, approximately 4,600 Haitian migrants have been deported on 43 flights to Port-au-Prince and Cap-Hatien. As well as deportation, 5,000 people were transferred to detention centres , others were provided transportation to large cities in the state of Texas with the initiation of immigration procedures for over 12,000 people. For the latter, migrants from Haiti are required to report to U.S. migration authorities in 60 days to start asylum and other legal procedures. Some Haitian migrants also returned to Mexican territory.
Many of those deported to Haiti between 19 and 22 September are from North, Northeast, Northwest, and Artibonite departments. Before arriving at the U.S.-Mexican border, some of these Haitians lived for several years in Chile and Brazil until the economic downturn related to the COVID-19 pandemic led to the current wave of migration.
With the context of the pandemic, there is concern regarding the further spread of COVID-19 in Haiti and the impact on the country’s weak health system. For example, the Haitian National Office of Migration (ONM) reported that on the September 22 flight to Cap-Hatien that repatriated 83 men, three tested positive for COVID-19 following rapid screening tests conducted by health professionals upon arrival. As of September 29, Haiti reports 21,647 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 610 deaths; Haiti has the lowest COVID-19 vaccination rate in the Americas with 64,799 vaccine doses administered in a population of 11.4 million inhabitants.
There are nearly 19,000 migrants, mostly Haitians, in Colombia waiting to enter Panama and who will attempt to enter the U.S. 7 Other media outlets even put the estimated number of people at the border between 20,000 and 30,000 with a possibility of increasing. .