President Biden Faces Backlash After Resuming Deportation Efforts To Haiti
By Ryan Shepard
September 16, 2021
President Joe Biden faces intense backlash from politicians, human rights advocates and voters after he resumed deporting 86 people to Haiti amid the nation's ongoing political turmoil, economic challenges and recovery from environmental disasters.
“That ICE would continue to carry out the mass deportations of our Haitian neighbors—with Haiti in the midst of its worst political, public health and economic crises yet—is cruel and callous," Rep. Ayanna Pressley said, according to The Hill.
ICE nor members of Biden's inner circle have commented on the matter. However, the Department of Homeland Security reportedly confirmed that a deportation flight did take place on Wednesday.
"We are in utter disbelief that the Biden Administration would deport Haitians now. Hours after the 7.2 magnitude earthquake, President Joe Biden released a statement saying that the United States was a 'friend' of Haiti. A 'friend' does not continuously inflict pain on another friend," Haitian Bridge Alliance Executive Guerline Jozef told The Hill.
"And yet, today, just one month after this devastating earthquake and storm that resulted in the deaths of over 2,200 Haitians, injured 12,000 people, damaged or destroyed 120,000 homes and displaced hundreds of thousands of people, the Administration sent a plane full of families to Haiti under Title 42, including children under the age of three, without offering them legal protection and the opportunity to file for asylum."
Today, just a month after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake killed over 2,200, injured over 12,000, and destroyed over 53,000 homes, the Biden Administration saw it fit to send a deportation flight to Haiti. This is cruel and unconscionable. #BidenAlsoDeports— HaitianBridge (@HaitianBridge) September 15, 2021
This is absolutely shameful. Very recently hundreds of groups, nearly 350, issued a letter urging a halt to deportations following the earthquake. The US has done this during past natural disasters, and has every ability to do so again: https://t.co/6e1sm74WyW https://t.co/OoH3OyGJUz— Gabe Ortíz (@TUSK81) September 16, 2021
Biden's current actions differ from those taken while he served as Vice President in the early 2010s. Following an earthquake in Haiti in 2010, then-President Barack Obama halted deportations for more than a year. Within the last three months, Haiti has experienced a deadly earthquake, a tropical storm and the assassination of its President. Yesterday, the nation's top prosecutor called for the Prime Minister to be charged in connection to the President's murder. With all that is going on, advocates feel that it is inhumane to deport people into a hostile environment.
“Earlier this week, the White House produced accolades, tweets, statements of support for the immigrant and undocumented communities ahead of the House Judiciary Markup of legalization language. Yesterday, 86 individuals were deported to Haiti, a short few weeks after a major earthquake there and the assassination of the nation’s president," UnDocu Black Network Executive Director Patrice S. Lawrence explained to The Hill.
"The word 'irony' comes to mind and we collectively question which immigrants the Biden-Harris Administration truly supports. Stop the deportation flights now and immediately stand up parole and relief programs for all Haitians fleeing into the United States."