(CNN) Dozens of children with non-Haitian passports have been sent to Haiti as part of the US government’s massive deportation operation this week, according to the International Organization for Migration.
As of Wednesday, the latest figures available, a total of 1,424 deportees from the US had arrived on 12 flights in Haiti, according to Giuseppe Loprete, chief of mission for the IOM, which is helping process the new arrivals.
More than 170 of them are children, of which at least 41 hold foreign citizenship, he said. Although their parents may be Haitian nationals, at least 30 children have Chilean passports, nine have Brazilian passports and two have Venezuelan passports, he added.
“The kids were born in those countries, they speak Spanish very well,” Loprete said, who added that IOM would liaise with Haiti’s Ministry of Haitians Living Abroad about them.
Asked what would happen to those children, Haitian Foreign Minister Claude Joseph told CNN, “We are asking for solidarity in the region. I spoke my ambassador in Brazil and she said that the Brazilians are willing to accept them back with their families.”
He added that he intends to speak with other regional governments whose citizens are among the deportees.
Chile’s immigration authority told CNN Thursday that children born in the country or with permanent residency would be welcomed back.
Brazil’s Foreign Ministry said it had “not been notified, so far, about the reported issue” but that consular assistance would be provided for Brazilian citizens.
CNN has reached out to immigration authorities in Venezuela.
The US Department of Homeland Security has been ramping up deportation flights to Haiti, as the Biden administration grapples with an influx of thousands of migrants, many of whom are Haitian, at the US-Mexico border in Del Rio, Texas.