U.S. expands temporary deportation of Haitians to protect human rights

U.S. expands temporary deportation of Haitians to protect human rights



The Department of Homeland Security announced on Saturday that the United States will expand temporary protection measures to prevent the deportation of Haitian citizens who already exist in the country. This move was welcomed by immigrant advocates, calling it “a long overdue action.”

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) protects immigrants from designated countries/regions from being deported, and grants them work permits in the United States based on the safety of repatriating them to their countries of origin in crises such as armed conflicts or natural disasters.

The Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Majorkas, said in a statement that the new 18-month title will apply to those residing in the United States starting May 21 and who also meet other eligibility criteria. Haitian. statement.

Majorcas said: “Haiti is currently facing serious security risks, social unrest, increased human rights violations, severe poverty and lack of basic resources, which have exacerbated the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“After careful consideration, we decided that we must do our best to support the Haitian nationals in the United States until the situation in Haiti improves so that they can return home safely.”

TPS expanded to Haitians for the first time after the devastating earthquake in 2010 [File: Laura Bonilla Cal/AFP]

Former US President Donald Trump tried to cancel Haiti’s TPS in 2018, but his efforts were blocked by the court.

Legislators and immigration advocates urged President Joe Biden to expand the plan, who took office in January and pledged to reverse Trump’s toughest anti-immigration policies. TPS was first provided to Haitians after the earthquake destroyed the country in 2010.

In the US state of Florida, home to a large Haitian community in Miami and its surrounding areas, dozens of people protested this week to extend the TPS program. Local media protested. Reported.

The new TPS name will “reserve approximately 150,000 [Haitian] Senator Bob Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a written statement statement.

He said: “As Haiti is experiencing severe political and security crises and facing ongoing humanitarian challenges, this decision provides the U.S. qualified Haitians with much-needed protection,”

Haiti experienced Months of political turmoil And the increasing violence, and it is also working hard to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this year, Haitians took to the streets and marched to protest against the disputed term of President Jovenel Moise. The term of most legal experts and civil society groups ended on February 7. But the president and his supporters insist that his term of office is only five years. Will expire in 2022.

“Today’s news is the result of countless hours of organization, advocacy and mobilization by black immigrant leaders,” said Patrice Lawrence, Co-Director of UndocuBlack Network.

“But when we celebrate today’s news, we know that this work has just begun. Most other black countries, including Cameroon, Mauritania, the Bahamas and Saint Vincent, must also be awarded the TPS title immediately. statement.

“TPS has been redesignated as Haitian, and I am happy for the 150,000 families they can sleep peacefully tonight. Guerline Jozef of the Haitian Bridge League Community Group Tweet.

The rights group of the Immigration Center for Refugees and Education and Legal Services (RAICES-Texas) also stated that the decision is “long overdue,” but more needs to be done to protect TPS holders.

“Without redesignating the TPS, Haitians have been living in an uncertain environment for the past few months. The organization said on Twitter: “In the future, the uncertainty can be permanently resolved through legislation that will enable TPS holders Embark on the road of citizenship. “

In addition, immigration advocates were shocked by reports that the Biden administration sent Haitian immigrants back to Haiti earlier this year. Heading 42A public health directive made by former President Donald Trump.

The Haitian Bridge Alliance, the Gidzad Center and UndocuBlack said that about 1,200 people were sent back to Haiti after trying to enter the United States on the country’s southern border with Mexico from February 1 to March 25.

Nicole Phillips, the legal director of the Haitian Bridge Alliance, said in a statement: “Haitian immigrants fled the violence, turmoil and persecution in Haiti, and then went on a long and sinister journey to the U.S.-Mexico border to seek safety in the United States And protection.” statement Attached is a report on Title 42 expulsion (PDF format).

“They were not safe, but were abused by immigration officials and were immediately deported back to the country they fled from under the “Title 42″ policy without any opportunity to seek protection. As this report explains, these deportations are not only tragic, And it’s illegal.”

Haitian asylum seekers have also returned to Mexico under Title 42 and they complain Racism and harassment In the border town of Mexico.

Haitian immigrants and supporters gathered in New York to reject the 2017 decision to terminate TPS for Haitians [File: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters]

But despite the challenges they face in Mexico, Haitian immigrants told Al Jazeera last month that they have no choice but to stay.

“My family has nothing in Haiti, no houses, no food, no money,” said Edile Eglaus, a Haitian asylum seeker who lives in a suburb of Tijuana with his wife and two children. Immigration shelter. “In any case, it is impossible to go back to that.”


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