Deportations to Haiti from the United States, including Title 42 flights, have violated Haitians’ human rights and were followed by an increase in deportations of Haitians from across the Americas as Haiti continues to face a human rights and humanitarian crisis, reported by Amnesty International, the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies, Haitian Bridge Alliance, the Global Justice Clinic at NYU School of Law, the Groupe d’Appui aux Rapatriés et Réfugiés (GARR), Refugees International, Rezo Fwotalye Jano Siksè and Service Jésuite aux Migrants Haiti.
In the joint document released today, the signatory organizations highlight the main aspects of the human rights and humanitarian crisis in Haiti and evidence that the US is violating its legal obligations to individually assess the claims of asylum seekers and to ensure that individuals are not returned to persecution or torture. Many expelled Haitians have disembarked US deportation flights sick, handcuffed, hungry, traumatized, and disoriented only to find themselves in a “humanitarian nightmare,” including widespread gang violence, an ongoing political crisis following assassination of Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse, food insecurity, a health system “on the brink of collapse,” devastation following a recent earthquake, and at risk for Covid-19 in a country where vaccination rates are reportedly around 0.4%.
Under the guise of public health, the US has made regular misuse of the Title 42 order to conduct mass expulsions and block Haitians and others from seeking asylum. This practice, widely criticized by the United Nations, health experts, human rights organizations and even US officials, has put people at increased risk for Covid-19 and has contributed to further racism, xenophobia, and discrimination in US border policies. The excessive force against Haitian migrants and asylum seekers by border agents on horseback in Del Rio, Texas in September reflected experiences of systemic racism inherent in the policing system throughout the country.
The organizations are calling on the US government to immediately stop all deportations to Haiti, including Title 42 expulsions; end the discriminatory mistreatment of Haitian asylum seekers and migrants; and provide them access to the asylum system.