Haitian immigrants being deported back to the Caribbean nation bit Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers on a flight bound for Port-au-Prince from Laughlin Air Force Base in Texas, according to the Washington Examiner.
The Monday incident saw two Haitian immigrants leave their seats as the aircraft taxied to the runway and attack ICE agents by biting them, forcing takeoff to be delayed, the report said.
Federal assault charges will be brought against the two Haitian attackers, the Examiner reported.
“[The Haitians] all realized they were going back to Haiti and lost it,” a senior federal law enforcement officer told the newspaper.
Last month, Haiti was hit by a powerful earthquake resulting in thousands of deaths.
The devastating temblor came just weeks after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse.
A second deportation flight was reported canceled by the U.S. government because Haitian migrants on board were “being disruptive and not complying” while the plane was on the tarmac, the Examiner reported.
Meanwhile, in another incident, three ICE officers were injured during a Tuesday assault at the Port-au-Prince airport when a group from a plane carrying single adult men stormed another recently arriving flight carrying deported families, according to NBC News.
The three ICE agents suffered non-life-threatening injuries, the report said.
CNBC video from the scene showed the chaotic incident at Haiti’s main airport, with returnees reacting angrily to spending large sums of money on arduous journeys attempting to reach the United States after learning the Biden administration had stopped deporting Haitians.
“On Tuesday, Sept. 21, some adult migrants caused two separate disruptions on the tarmac after deplaning in Port-au-Prince, Haiti,” a Department of Homeland Security representative said in a statement, according to NBC News.
“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.”
President Joe Biden, already facing criticism for his overall handling of the immigration situation at the southern U.S. border, has seen things become even more complicated recently.
Some 10,000 migrants, mainly Haitians, have set up an impromptu camp under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas, after wading across the Rio Grande separating Mexico and the United States.
NEW: This is what it looks like under the international bridge in Del Rio this morning. Latest numbers as of 6 AM.
4,742 family units
1,489 single adult men
418 single adult females
73 family “groups”
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) September 22, 2021
Border agents have begun expelling planeloads of mostly Haitian migrants from the sprawling makeshift camp.
Optics for the Biden administration worsened on Monday after viral footage from the U.S.-Mexico border showed officers on horseback trying to push Haitians back across the border.
“We are increasing the frequency and number of the repatriation flights each day,” he said. “And we’re hoping that what we are doing now serves as a deterrent because it backs up the words that we have spoken since the very outset: that irregular migration is not the way to enter the United States. It will not work.”
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