Near the Haiti airport AFP

The United Nations' refugee agency (UNHCR) called on the United States to stop forcibly deporting Haitians to their country, as it continues to be engulfed in chaos and face threats from gangs.

In a social media post, the agency asked the Biden administration to "refrain from forcibly returning Haitians who may face life-threatening risks or further displacement" in Haiti. Other organizations echoed the message after the deportation flight, which took place last Thursday.

Sunil Varghese, Policy Director at the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), called the decision "unconscionable" and said that, "to make matters worse, many of those aboard today's deportation flight likely were subjected to unfair, elevated standards to seek asylum in the United States due to recent Biden administration policies."

"The U.S. must stop deporting Haitians immediately. Now is the moment for the U.S. government to offer TPS and humanitarian assistance to Haiti, not to send people fleeing for their lives back into grave danger," he added.

Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director at America's Voice, said on her end that "sending Haitians back amidst political turmoil and increased gang attacks will worsen human suffering."

"We support the calls from community members and organizations like the Haitian Bridge Alliance and others in urging President Biden to provide protections for Haitian families and immediately stop cruel deportation."

This was the second deportation flight since late February, when an already chaotic situation was exacerbated further and gangs intensified their attacks on the country's police and institutions.

The outlook for Haiti continues to be uncertain. A multinational force tasked with quelling violence in the country seems to be closer to arriving, but gangs controlling most of the capital warned they won't lay down their arms.

Speaking to NPR last week, the country's most notorious gang leader, Jimmy "Barbecue" Chérizier, said the consortium of criminal organization he leads is gearing up for a lengthy fight that will involve "a lot of bloodshed." He added that forces will eventually get tired of fighting and leave the Haiti.

However, Monday also saw a glimmer of hope, as the capital's main international airport reopened after almost three months.

The Toussaint-Louverture airport, located in Port-au-Prince, had been closed since early March amid increased gang violence. The news means that more goods are likely to start arriving soon, helping ease some shortages, among them medicine and foods.

According to The Associated Press, the only airline that started flying is a local one, Sunrise Airways, but American ones could resume their operations between late May and early June.

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