Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

U.S. Plan to Deport Haitians Raises Fairness Questions

September 22’s U.S. Department of Homeland Security policy change – resuming noncriminal Haiti deportations to Haiti (for the first time since the 2010 earthquake) despite continued unstable conditions there – shocked and disappointed Haitian Americans. It also renewed questions about the fairness of DHS’ Haitian Family Reunification Program (HFRP). Renewing deportations can only be destabilizing, since Haiti is in no position to receive additional deportees. Meanwhile, as of June 30, only 1,952 beneficiaries had been approved under HFRP, which was created in part to generate additional remittances to help Haiti recover. (In contrast, DHS has welcomed over 100,000 under its Cuban FRP.) The low HFRP number is due to DHS’s arbitrary limitation of eligibility to beneficiaries already within at most three years of getting their visas, although the approved wait list extends to about 13 years. DHS should expand HFRP to include those further years back on the wait list, which would increase the applicant pool and facilitate more applications by making HFRP more affordable. Fairness compared to the more robust Cuban FRP, and meeting DHS’s stated goal of reuniting families and helping Haiti recover through more remittances, require no less.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

New policy to deport Haitians is inhumane

Marleine Bastien & Steven Forester, Miami Herald

September 27, 2016

In 2009, Racquel Lanoue, then 8, held sign at a protest outside the Broward Transitional Center in Pompano Beach, criticizing detentions and deportations of undocumented Haitian migrants.

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) decision last week to resume deportations of noncriminal Haitian, disingenuously citing improved conditions despite political and economic turmoil and an unchecked cholera epidemic, is inhumane, ill-advised and shocking to the Haitian-American community. It may rip families apart and curtail life-saving remittances to Haiti.

DHS should immediately reverse it.

It evokes another administration failure that any presidential candidate seeking Haitian-American votes should address. That is DHS’ failure to significantly expand the Haitian Family Reunification Program (HFRP), announced in October 2014 as a way to promote orderly outflow and to help Haiti recover by generating additional remittances.


Click HERE for the full text.

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