DeSantis-Chartered Flight Carrying US Citizens Escapes Haiti

( – The violence in Haiti recently hit critical levels, leading to rescue efforts for US citizens trapped in the war-torn nation. The Biden administration has been slow in its response, bringing home only about 15 to 30 Americans each day. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, determined to pick up the slack, just sent his first of “many” chartered flights and brought home an additional 14 stranded US citizens.

Gang violence in Haiti has crushed the nation, plunging its people into a humanitarian crisis. It has led to over 300,000 people being displaced throughout the country over the past few years. In Port-au-Prince alone, over 15,000 people have fled their homes since February. 

Gangs have taken control over highways and ports, and the capital city’s one international airport has been pushed out of service. Hunger has become a serious issue for residents, with over a million people nearly on the brink of starvation.

Many Americans still remain trapped in the crossfire. To do his part, DeSantis set up an online portal for Florida residents who still needed help getting out. By March 20, 300 people had responded. The first flight landed in Florida late that night, but organizers are working hard to get as many additional people back home as possible. 

The Sunshine State, which is about 700 miles across the sea from the small island nation, has roughly 276,000 residents who are of Haitian descent.

Officials have had to overcome challenges, such as ensuring all passengers have proper documentation and actually belong in the US. There are also concerns that Haitian nationals may try to flee, some possibly even attempting to boat across the dangerous waters toward the US in an attempt to escape the violence. 

DeSantis warned that he wouldn’t tolerate undocumented immigrants, adding that anyone who tried to enter Florida illegally would likely find themselves on a plane to Martha’s Vineyard.

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