Haiti: US resumes deportations

Haiti marked the Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ 60th anniversary with an official ceremony organized by the United Nations at the Foundation for Knowledge and Liberty (FOKAL), a nongovernmental organization formerly headed by Prime Minster Michele Duvivier Pierre-Louis. The event included the screening of a film, “The Dream of Water,” as the opening of a human rights film festival. The Platform of Haitian Human Rights Organizations (PODH) also organized activities to celebrate the anniversary. (AlterPresse, Dec. 10)

Two days earlier, on Dec. 8, the US government acknowledged that it had resumed deporting Haitians. It suspended the deportations in September after Haiti was hit by two hurricanes and two tropical storms in one month, leaving at least 800 people dead. “We determined that it was appropriate to resume based on the circumstances in Haiti,” Nicole Navas, a spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), said.

“We still have thousands of cubic meters of mud being removed from [the northwestern city of] Gonaives,” Haitian consul general in Miami told the Miami Herald. “There are still people in shelters, and of course people know children are suffering from malnutrition in Haiti.” “Deportations at this time are simply inhumane, sending people to conditions of famine and disease,” said Randolph McGrorty, executive director of Catholic Legal Services in Miami. The policy is “so cruel and misguided that I cannot explain it by any other way than to condemn the policy as racist.” (Miami Herald, Dec. 9)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Dec. 14

See our last posts on Haiti and the politics of immigration.