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 the scope of temporary protection to prevent the deportation of existing Haitian citizens in the country. This move was welcomed by immigration advocates, calling it “late.”

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) protects immigrants from designated countries/regions from deportation and issues work permits in the United States on the grounds that it is not safe to return them to their country of origin due to crises such as armed conflict or natural disasters.

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Majorkas (Alejandro Majorkas) said that the new 18-month title will apply to Haitians residing in the United States starting May 21 and meeting other eligibility criteria. 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 take office in January, who promised to overturn Trump’s toughest anti-immigration policies in order to expand the plan. After the earthquake destroyed the country in 2010, TPS was provided to Haitians for the first time.

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 struggling 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. UndocuBlackNetwork is an advocacy group for current and former undocumented blacks in the United States.

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

“TPS has been redesignated as Haitian, and I am delighted with 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 to make the TPS sustainable. Some are on the road of citizenship. “

In addition, immigration advocates warned about 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 through the country’s southern border with Mexico between February 1 and 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 took 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 their challenges in Mexico, Haitian immigrants told Al Jazeera last month that they had 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 there.”

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