ICE Begins Second Round of Deportations to Haiti During Humanitarian Crisis

April 15, 2011, New York and Miami – Today, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security resumed deportations of Haitian nationals. On a conference call this morning, U.S. officials confirmed that they have received no assurances that the 19 individuals who were deported will be treated humanely upon their arrival in Haiti. In response, the Center for Constitutional Rights, University of Miami School of Law Human Rights Clinic and Immigration Clinic, FANM/Haitian Women of Miami, Alternative Chance, and Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center issued the following statement:

This morning, the United States deported a second group of Haitian men to face jail and death in post-earthquake Haiti. In January, a 34-year-old man, Wildrick Guerrier, died only 9 days after being deported to Haiti. Guerrier and 26 other men were jailed without being provided with clean water or food and were held in a cell covered with human feces and vomit. Guerrier and other men fell ill, exhibiting cholera-like symptoms, and were refused medical care.

As acknowledged by the U.S. State Department, conditions have only worsened since the January 2010 earthquake that caused ICE to suspend deportations. Haiti is reeling under a cholera epidemic, social unrest, and unsafe and deteriorating tent camps housing over 1.2 million displaced people. Haiti also continues its practice of jailing deportees with past criminal records under life-threatening conditions.

Yet ICE unexpectedly announced in December 2010 that it was lifting the ban on deportations to Haiti for individuals with past criminal records and began rounding up Haitian community members.

Before the first plane to Haiti left on January 20, a wide range of immigrants’ rights and human rights organizations warned that deportation could be a death sentence. On January 6, our organizations petitioned the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to instruct the United States to halt the deportations. On February 4, the IACHR issued an order urging the United States not to deport the Haitian petitioners to Haiti and expressing serious concern about the deportations separating families and placing people with medical conditions in life-threatening conditions.

The cholera epidemic has resulted in over a quarter of a million known cases in Haiti with 4,717 reported deaths as of March 18, 2011. Even more alarming, a new study by the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Harvard Medical School, published March 16, 2011 in the journal Lancet, is predicting that there could be nearly twice the number of previously expected cases of cholera – up to 779,000 – between this March and November 2011 alone. The U.S. government claims it is working with the government of Haiti towards “safe and humane” removals. This is simply not possible given the conditions on the ground, particularly in the jails where deportees are held.

The United States has an obligation not to deport anyone to death. Our country must live up to its human rights commitments and immediately halt any and all deportations to Haiti.

We call on the Obama Administration for an immediate halt to all removals to Haiti and the release of all Haitians being held with final orders of removal.



One response to “ICE Begins Second Round of Deportations to Haiti During Humanitarian Crisis

  1. Kimberly Jacques

    My Family is about to be torn apart by this deportation. My husband was ordered deported in 2002 after a feloney charge in 1997, and been on immigration supervision for 8 years now. ICE called last friday and wanted to move him to intensive supervision, with a third party company BI here in Phoenix AZ. which included an ankle bracelt, After all the threats they kept saying if he refused the GPS bracelet, they would detain him, My husband said “detain me, I have done nothing wrong and refuse to put this on”, After my investigation and our story put in the local news paper, I found out BI was a company that is taking the immigrants that are subject to leave for deportation soon. My husband was sent home with us “WITHOUT” the ankle bracelet, but now has to check in 1 a week with ICE. We have been married for 14 years now and have 4 children together, I fear my children will loose their father, my husband does not have any family down in Haiti. He is looking forward to go back home, just not in hand cuffs nor turned over to the athorities down there to be jailed. I understand after commiting a felony they face deportation, I respect it, but there is a right way and a wrong way to do everything. He didnt commit any feloney in Haiti. Since he has been under immigration supervision, he has done nothing but work and take care of his family. How can he pay again for something he has already served time for? We need help. for any sugestions, please e-mail me.

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