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US Response to Haitian Migration Crisis & Human Rights Violations

Magazine, Immigration

A large number of Haitians, in their quest to seek asylum in the United States, have reached the US-Mexico border after covering a long distance covered with serious threats and dangers. The arrival of these refugees continues with several packs joining the crowd every week. 

The US government, while barring these refugees from entering the US, is responding with violence and other human rights violations including expulsion of thousands of refugees to their home country. On the other hand, Haiti is going through the worst political turmoil as President Jovenel Moise was assassinated in July. The situation was further worsened when the country was hit by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake in August, which claimed 2,000 lives.  

Now, deporting the Haitians to a quack-hit country that is already grappling with the worst political, economic, and environmental crisis, is tantamount to killing these refugees or exposing them to violence. It is feared that Haiti will act as hell on earth for the returning migrants as violence, unhousing, and even death are awaiting them. 

However, the US acts completely oblivious to the situation on the ground in Haiti, as the Department of Homeland Security has taken more than half of these migrants into custody, while thousands have already been removed from the US, or deported to their home country via special flights. 

An immigration policy official at the US-based Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti has called the US course of action “completely unconscionable.” He said that Haiti is not in the position to handle the people that are in Haiti now, how it can provide for the additional number of people returning from the fruitless adventure. 

What do Rights Groups Say? 

Similar observations were made by the human rights organizations including Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch. Several other rights groups in the US have also expressed grave concerns over the maltreatment being meted out to some 14,000 Haitian migrants who have sought shelter under a bridge near the Texas border. 

Leaders of as many as 40 human rights organizations wrote a letter to President Biden calling for halting the expulsions of Haitian migrants. 

“As leaders of civil rights and human rights organizations, we write at an inflection point for your Administration’s commitment to a humane and just immigration policy. In recent weeks your Administration has violated asylum rights and refugee laws enacted by Congress and embraced policies that inflict cruelty on Black, Brown, and Indigenous immigrant communities. We fear that commitments made on the campaign trail—to uphold the United States’ domestic and international legal obligation to asylum, to end privatized detention, and to disentangle federal immigration enforcement from local law enforcement—are being shredded before our eyes,” the letter reads. 

Amnesty International, has also published a letter asking the US to stop abuses against the Haitian people. “If the U.S. truly aims to convince the world that its commitment to human rights and racial justice are sincere, then it cannot deny asylum and deport thousands of people who fear for their safety back to a country experiencing extreme instability and massive human rights violations.” 

Human Rights Watch has also joined the groups in blasting the US for expelling Haitians and responding with human rights violations. In a report, the HRW notes: “The Biden administration should actively confront and address the history of systemic racism in US immigration enforcement, and urgently overhaul racially discriminatory policies like Title 42.”

It is pertinent to mention that the Haitian migrants are being expelled under a discriminatory policy known as Title 42, which singles out Black, Indigenous, and Latino migrants from Central America, Africa, and Haiti for expulsion. 

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