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Haitian repatriations reached close to 25,000 in just over one year

By The Haitian Times Staff

Haitians board a plane
Haitians board a plane for a voluntary repatriation flight from Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico, to the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, October 6, 2021. Photo provided by Mexico’s National Institute of Immigration, / courtesy of Reuters.

PORT-AU-PRINCE — Immigration authorities repatriated nearly 25,000 Haitian adults and children over the last 13 and a half months, according to the International Organization for Migration, part of the United Nations.

About 90 percent of those returns during the period of January 1, 2021 to February 14, 2022, took place after September of last year. 

During that month, September 19 to October 19, when a surge of Haitian migrants arrived at the U.S. southern border, 7,121 were repatriated. The average number of repatriations in recent months — October 2021 through February 2022— are fewer, with an average of 2,315 per month.  

Most people —76 percent — were returned by air from the United States, while the remainder came from other countries and territories in the Caribbean — the Bahamas, Cuba, Mexico, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Based on a short arrival questionnaire requested by IOM, most of the Haitians in this population resided in Brazil or Chile and were returned by the U.S. after traveling north. Smaller numbers migrated to other Caribbean locations more recently.

Reasons for leaving Haiti included lack of income, job opportunities, insufficient access to basic needs, impact of the 2021 earthquake, violence, insecurity and political instability, among others.

These figures do not include the migrants who were returned via land from the Dominican Republic or those who landed in Cap-Haïtien. The numbers for that last group of arrivals were not available for the most recent months, but in September, 2021, they were approximately 52 percent (3,710) of the number arriving in Port-au-Prince.  

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