The Haitian Crisis

“I will not be associated with the United States’ inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees and illegal immigrants to Haiti, a country where American officials are confined to secure compounds because of the dangers posed by armed gangs in control of daily life,” Daniel Foote, the US envoy to Haiti, wrote to Secretary of State Antony Blinken as he resigned his position.

The photo to the right became famous as it is the epitome of the migrant crisis going on at the southern borders of Texas right now: thousands of Haitian immigrants are seeking haven, but a significant portion is being inhumanely deported and sent back to Haiti.

But a false perception of being easily accepted into the United States has been created - many Haitians might think that the Biden administration has reduced deportations; however, the Biden administration granted only temporary protected status to Haitians in the summer. This potentially created a false perception for Haitian immigrants that the US was more open. According to the Washington Post, the health code of Title 42 has helped Biden continue to deport migrants. It uses the pandemic as reasoning to clear the border. Now, many Haitian migrants are being deported without being able to request to be an asylee. Even if they were able to request status as an asylum seeker, asylee status is granted to people facing political persecution, not necessarily poverty.

“And these people took a very dangerous journey. They recount horrific stories and these people, when they finally reach the U.S., said, you know, their suffering was over. But, well, it was not over because one woman told me she was treated worse by U.S. authorities, by U.S. agents than what she experienced on the road, what she experienced actually in Chile,” said Wildlore Merancourt, a journalist and editor in chief of Ayibopost in Port-au-Prince, Haiti in an interview with Hari Sreenivasan of PBS News Hour.

These conditions at the US border come into question today: Are Haitian immigrants being treated in an ethical manner as they come to the US in hopes of a better life? Is sending them back to an economically depressed and chaos-filled country the right thing to do on the Biden administration’s part?


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