Haitian deportation crisis: What you need to know

The Biden administration is sending out Haitian immigrants by the thousands, continuing the trend of his predecessor. 

People are hiding under bridges in Texas trying to hide from the blazing sun. They have traveled hundreds of miles to seek refuge at the “beacon on the hill.”

The overwhelm of Haitian immigrants has gotten to the point of forced deportation. In most cases, these people have not been to Haiti in years, so they are being sent back to a place that is no longer home. After the 2010 earthquake that Haiti suffered, many people moved to Latin American countries, but they are now trying to come to America.

According to Lisa Twomey, Concordia Spanish professor, the Biden administration has not held to promises made in its campaign; this has become a humanitarian crisis. Twomey said that the administration may not be as friendly to immigrants and asylum seekers as they once claimed to be. With that, President Biden has decided to keep Title 42 in play despite heavy backlash. Title 42, in summary, states that mass deportation of immigrants is not unethical because of public safety concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. So, immigrants are being deported in mass amounts without getting the chance to apply for asylum because of concerns about spreading the coronavirus. 

Continuing, this crisis affects the present Concordia population. Gay Rawson, a professor of French at Concordia talked on the relationship between Haiti and Concordia. On top of there being international students here from Haiti, the French and nursing program work with an alum who lives and works in Haiti. Usually, Concordia students take a trip to Haiti but have not been able to because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and because of the economical and political unrest that Haiti is facing at the moment. Rawson stated that this deportation crisis continues to add to these problems.

She touched on how there are often protests against the U.S. and its policies — only heightened with the addition of this crisis. At the end of the interview, she talked about the love many immigrants have for their home countries; “They love their home countries, they are extremely proud. There are so many poems about how much people love Haiti, really beautiful artwork saying ‘this country is beautiful, we love it, but we are hurting.” She said that it boiled down to a lack of opportunity and when there was no other option, that is when immigrants would be forced to flee.

Moreover, Concordia professor Sonja Wentling brought up the racial factors that come with immigration laws. She discussed the central point race has taken in U.S immigration laws and how it unfortunately plays a key role in policies. Haiti, being the poorest country in the western hemisphere, has faced some of the most restrictive laws regarding immigration. The U.S. has come under increased criticism for their immigration policies, when in the past, they had been the most welcoming of immigrants. The number of immigrants taken in by the U.S. continues to decrease.

Haiti is also trying to deal with their own wealth of problems. After suffering from another earthquake in early August as well as the assassination of their president, the mass return of immigrants is compounding their problems.

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