The deportation flight was scheduled for April 23, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
More than a dozen deportees reportedly spent time at the Pine Prairie ICE Processing Center in Louisiana. At least two detainees at the center tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus and some of the Haitian deportees reportedly shared a bunk with the infected inmates. Reports also indicated that some of the Haitian deportees had started to feel ill.
The HuffPost news agency reported that one bunkmate showed symptoms of the virus. The news agency also reported that nearly 50 minors were also scheduled to be on board the flight carrying the deportees.
Haitians in the U.S. have blasted the Trump administration’s efforts to continue deportations to the French Caribbean nation during the COVID-19 pandemic. They claim if deportees arriving in Haiti are positive with COVID-19 that would speed up the spread of the virus.
The Family Action Network Movement (FANM), a U.S.-based organization, last month wrote to Haiti President Jovenel Moise, “requesting that Haiti stops receiving all deportations from the United States in order to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
“The deportation flights to Haiti have the capacity to spread COVID-19 not only to Haiti, but also globally,” wrote FANM’sMarleine Bastien.
Earlier in April, 61 Haitians were deported.