As a humanitarian crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border continues to unfold, the Haitian government has asked the United States to put a moratorium on deportations. The New York Times reported the new government expressed dismay at the incoming flights of people removed from the U.S.
Jean Negot Bonheur Delva, who leads Haiti’s national migration office, told the New York Times that the country might not have the logistics to manage. “I am asking for a humanitarian moratorium,” Bonheur Delva said to the New York Times. “The situation is very difficult.” (Read the entire New York Times article here.)
Difficult is an understatement. The country is still grappling with a massive earthquake and political upheaval following President Jovenel Moïse’s assassination in July. And like the rest of the world, Haiti’s limited resources are being stretched to deal with the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic. Any one of these issues alone is enough to cause strain on the new government. But all three combined have put the island nation in a dire situation.
It’s estimated that several flights will leave the U.S. for Haiti daily. The Haitian Bridge Alliance tweeted Friday that 86 people, including children under three, were sent to Haiti.
NewsOne reported Friday that an estimated 14,000 people would be sent back to Haiti over the next few weeks. The proposed deportation plan would only further burden a situation that is already at its breaking point. Various organizations used Friday’s commemoration of Citizenship Day to call attention to the administration’s inhumane treatment of Haitian asylum seekers. Dozens of Democratic lawmakers also reiterated prior calls for the administration to stop deportations.
The call to halt deportations has been repeated multiple times in the previous months. Several advocates testified before a House committee back in March, stating that continuing to deport people would make the conditions in the country even worse. Six months, an earthquake, and an assassination later, and the country is even more fragile. Continuing the deportations under these conditions is arguably inhumane.
Groups like Black Alliance for Just Immigration echo calls for the Biden administration to avoid exacerbating the current crisis. “While humanitarian parole is a temporary measure, it allows asylum seekers access to safer conditions as they await the backlogged asylum process,” BAJI tweeted Friday.
Ahead of the 2020 election, there was much talk about Trump and his inhumane treatment of those seeking asylum. Advocate groups have not let up on demands for humanitarian treatment for asylum seekers simply because there is a new president. Immigration organizers continue to stress that regardless of the administration, the treatment of people coming into this country is a priority and needs to be put front and center, whether it’s friend or foe in the White House.