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U.S. Resumes Deportations of Haitians

U.S. Resumes Deportations of Haitians

The U.S. has resumed deporting Haitians after a one year post-earthquake moratorium. About 700 have been classified as “criminal aliens.” Spokesperson for ICE Barbara Gonzalez contends that all are consistent with the U.S. policy of removing those who pose “a threat to public safety.” Twenty seven Haitians have already been deported.

However some believe the deportations are inhumane since Haiti is still struggling with a vicious cholera epidemic that has killed almost 4,000 and infected 20,000. Haiti is also dealing with a shaky recovery from last year’s deadly 7.0 earthquake and a disputed presidential election. Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center’s Executive Director Cheryl Little asked, ”Why is it so urgent for the U.S. to deport Haitians when Haiti remains in ruin? It makes no sense for either country.” She added, “This is death by deportation.”

Sure enough, 34 year-old Wildrick Guerrier died shortly after being detained in a Haitian jail, exhibiting cholera symptoms such as extreme vomiting and uncontrollable diarrhea. Guerrier had been living in the U.S. as a legal permanent resident since he was a teenager, and was completing an 18 month criminal sentence when a judge ordered for his deportation.

A number of advocacy groups came together to file an emergency petition with the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR) to halt the deportations of hundreds of Haitian nationals by U.S. immigration authorities. 

Submitted by the University of Miami School of Law, Human Rights and Immigration Clinics; the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center; the Center for Constitutional Rights, Alternative Chance, and the Loyola Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice, the petition contends, “The Haitian state has no capacity to provide for the safe and dignified reintegration of those deported, many of whom are long-time U.S. residents with no resources in Haiti…While we support the enforcement of immigration laws, we are concerned that the continuing state of emergency in Haiti will jeopardize the lives of those deported and divert resources from the recovery and reconstruction effort.”

The petition also calls out the recent raids that have taken place, claiming that immigrants in Florida have been separated from their families and legal service providers, and have been sent off the remote detention camps in Louisiana. Among those detained include Haitians who were convicted of minor offenses and then released for good behavior, as well as mentally disabled individuals and parents of U.S. citizens.

To read the full petition and sign, click here.

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64 comments

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6:45AM PDT on Jun 4, 2011

how sad

12:05PM PST on Feb 20, 2011

noted :0

4:46AM PST on Feb 18, 2011

Fa'izah, I totally disagree. I think anyone, no matter what their "country of origin" is, if they are here illegally, need to be sent back, and especially if they are criminals....ie., have broken the law while here in the U.S. I don't think they're "picking" on Haitians anymore than anyone else. "Cuban boat people" are NOT given preferential treatment at all. There have been countless articles about them being caught and returned. If they make it to the "mainland" and can prove they were refugees because of reasons given for political asylum, then, yes, of course they might be given a chance, same as Haitians.

5:47PM PST on Feb 17, 2011

From a humanitarian perspective it's harsh to send them back to a country that is still facing such conditions; still we cannot save the entire world no matter how much we want to.

I have no problem with immigration; without both forced and voluntary immigration this nation would never have become what it is.

I do have a problem with undocumented immigration and visa overstays no matter what the country of origin. So what I see as problematic with the US resuming deportation of Hatians is that the US isn't doing enough deportation of all undocumented immigrants, so the appearance is that only darker skinned people who are deemed Black are being deported and all others are welcome to remain.

I also find it unfair that Cuban "boat people" who manage to touch the US shore are allowed to stay, but Haitian "boat people" are not. Racism is not dead.

4:16AM PST on Feb 15, 2011

Victoria, did you not read the article? It said all that were being deported were convicted criminals, and none were here legally. Of 700 who are convicted criminals, 27 have been deported. Not a very high percentage, actually!

2:35AM PST on Feb 15, 2011

thanks for the info

8:11PM PST on Feb 14, 2011

dunno it says some of them are criminals...if they can weed those guys out and send them back and keep the rest i think they should.

11:12PM PST on Feb 11, 2011

What a tragic story. Where are HUMAN RIGHTS?

7:53PM PST on Feb 9, 2011

I'm sad for the Haitians...more time? def more help.

9:45AM PST on Feb 9, 2011

Heartless...

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Lindsay Spangler Lindsay Spangler is a Web Editor and Producer for Care2 Causes. A recent UCLA graduate, she lives in... more
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