Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Action Alert: Join the Haiti Deportations Response Network

February 21, 2017 Dear Friend, Hundreds of detained Haitian asylum-seekers and migrants, including women and children, are being deported weekly from detention centers across the United States in violation of their rights. They need your help urgently. The Department of Homeland Security is currently holding about 4,000 detainees in facilities throughout the US. More than 2500 Haitian detainees have already been deported, and around 270 more are being deported each week. Lawyers, community activists and detainees’ relatives have reported a range of prejudicial procedural problems in their asylum processing, including no lawyers, weak or non-existent interpretation and the use of apparently fabricated statements. Most of the detainees are held in remote facilities far from family, community and legal support; and some would have viable asylum claims if they had effective representation. Find more details here. The Institute for Justice & […]

Procedural abuses and increased deportations affect thousands of Haitians

Haitians continue to be deported at a rapid rate from the country at which they arrived seeking refuge and safety. From November through the end of January, ICE deported 2,186 people to Haiti. Only about 9% of these individuals had criminal records. The deportations pose many problems; detained Haitians lack access to legal counsel and Creole translators, creating miscommunications and limited opportunity for individuals to claim their rights. Additionally, Haiti is still extremely unstable in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, a cholera epidemic and a devastating 2010 earthquake. The number of Haitians crossing the Mexican border is increasing daily, subjecting even more vulnerable individuals to detention, procedural abuses and unstable futures. Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the full article. U.S. accelerates deportation of Haitian migrants Daniel González, The Arizona Republic February 17, 2017 A detention officer handed Lemoine Denera a cardboard lunch tray. The […]

Thousands of detained Haitians unsure of future in the U.S. or Haiti

Resumed deportations of Haitians pose immeasurable challenges for individuals who made the perilous journey to seek refuge in the United States. Between October 2016 and mid-January 2017, the U.S. deported 1,513 Haitians and thousands more remain in detention awaiting an uncertain future. Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the original article. Haitians’ dreams dashed after costly US voyage Gulf Times February 12, 2017 John Stevens Val borrowed 3,000 from friends and family and trekked through 10 countries to make his way to the United States, where he hoped life would be better than in Haiti, his impoverished homeland. But in the end he landed in a US immigration detention centre and was deported back to Haiti, deep in debt and struggling to integrate, like so many other Haitians. Val, 28, left home after a devastating 2010 earthquake that wrecked the […]

Congresswoman Clarke works to protect Haitian nationals from deportation

In the aftermath of recent legislation affecting U.S. immigration policy, many refugees and undocumented immigrants fear for their lives as they face potential deportation to their country of origin. Brooklyn Congresswoman Yvette Clarke is now advocating for new legislation to protect Haitian refugees from returning to a country still rebuilding after Hurricane Matthew. The Haiti Emergency Relief Act of 2017 would apply to Haitian nationals who were in the U.S. before November 4, 2016 and extend Temporary Protected Status to these eligible individuals for 18 months. Haitians were originally granted TPS after the 2010 earthquake so that they could seek refuge in the United States and also send remittances to Haiti to support family members still there. Clarke believes that the money generated from remittances of TPS grantees would play a major role in helping Haiti recover. Part of the article is shown below. […]

U.S. immigration policies lead Haitians to seek refuge in Mexico

Concerned about resumed deportations and uncertain immigration policies in the United States, more than 7,000 Haitians in the Mexican state of “Baja California,” and over 10,000 Haitians in the entire country, are seeking refugee status in Mexico. However, many are blocked from continuing with the administrative process because they do not have access to the office of the Mexican Commission of Assistance to Refugees, at which they must apply for the refugee status. Fearing a return to their home country, thousands of Haitians are now locked in a state of immigration limbo. Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the full article. More than 7,000 Haitians seeking refugee status in Mexico HaitiLibre January 29, 2017 In fear of the migratory measures that the new US President, Donald Trump, wants to apply, more than 7,000 Haitians locked in the state of “Baja California”, in Mexico, seek […]

Overwhelmed shelters in Mexico house thousands of Haitian migrants

Mexico’s border towns are struggling under an influx of immigrants, who no longer view the United States as an option to seek refugee status. Most Haitians have had to find shelter and food in the unknown territory, relying on more than 30 shelters providing for Haitians in Mexico. However, none of these shelters are government-run, and civil society groups and individuals face significant obstacles in meeting the refugees’ basic needs. The article is shown below in its entirety. Click HERE for the original article. As Migrants Strain Border Towns, Pressure Builds on Mexico to Act Kerk Semple, New York Times January 27, 2017   Even before President Trump decided to build the wall, this Mexican border city was already overwhelmed. So many Haitian migrants, traveling across the Americas, began arriving here last year with hopes of crossing into the United States that churches, community […]

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