Haitian illegal immigrants being deported from the U.S. have bitten and attacked Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers on board planes in a bid to halt their return to the Caribbean nation, according to reports.
Some pilots have also been assaulted in a series of incidents this week as the U.S conducts deportation flights to Haiti after nearly 15,000 migrants – mostly Haitians — settled under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas after illegally crossing the border.
In one incident, two Haitians left their seats and bit ICE officials as their plane was taxying down the runway at Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio on Monday, law enforcement officials told the Washington Examiner.
The plane had to turn back due to the disturbance, but it wasn’t immediately clear if the two Haitians were arrested.
Another flight had to be cancelled Monday when migrants became “disruptive” and started “fighting personnel” on the plane, the officials said.
In a separate incident, several Haitians assaulted the pilots and injured three ICE officials after a flight carrying only male migrants landed in Port-au-Prince on Tuesday, NBC reports.
The unrest broke out when U.S. officials released the men to Haitian authorities on the tarmac.
The group of migrants stormed another arriving flight carrying families and assaulted the pilots, sources told the outlet.
Three ICE officials suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the attack.
A group of Haitians who were being bused to San Antonio to board a deportation flight also briefly took control of the vehicle Monday before making a break for it.
The escapees were eventually recaptured.
The Department of Homeland Security says 1,401 migrants have been deported to Haiti in recent days.
More than 4,600 migrants who had been gathering under the Del Rio bridge have now been removed from the makeshift encampment, according to DHS — but they failed to specify how many had been released into the US.
The department said that fewer than 5,000 migrants remained at the Del Rio site.