The Republican president elect Donald Trump, no rather the Democratic administration of the Black American Barack Hussein Obama in a very callous and cold hearted move, has ordered the deportation of Haitian asylum seekers to the island in which nearly a thousand died and a million have been displaced by Hurricane Matthew, which tore through the south eastern part of the country less than 40 days ago.
Making matters worse, Haiti has been hit by torrential rains which is stalling clean up and adding more flooding to the already devastated landscape.
Haiti incidentally was still recovering from an earthquake in 2010, one in which US and European NGO’s exploited to line their own pockets while little of the estimated billions actually went to the Haitian people.
According to a Miami Herald article this week written by Jacqueline Charles entitled, “U.S. government quietly resumes deportations to Haiti” the US began shipping Haitians back last Thursday and it was hidden in the midst of the excitement around the US presidential election.
The US had stopped deporting Haitians who arrived here illegally after the 2010 earthquake and had even granted most asylum seekers temporary protective status. Before that US policy appeared somewhat racist as it allowed Cubans leaving Cuba (who were predominantly white) to stay and acquire citizenship but automatically deported the black Haitians.
But in late September US policy changed again and the US resumed deporting Haitian immigrants after Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson claimed “the situation in Haiti has improved sufficiently.” Of course at the time of that announcement it was not clear what measuring stick the US was using to declare that the situation in Haiti had, “improved sufficiently.”
When the storm hit, the US again suspended its policy because how could they send Haitians back into the chaos the storm created.
But with all the heartlessness it could muster the US government, has done just that. A little more than a month after yet another disaster it proved to be in a rush to yet again deport human beings from this Black island back to certain chaos.
“It’s completely outrageous given the devastation Hurricane Matthew caused and the inability of Haiti to receive deportees,” said Steven Forester, a longtime activist in South Florida’s Haitian community, who was quoted in the article. “The only thing that has changed in Haiti is that the vast devastation affecting two million people in Haiti is no longer in the headlines.”
“No matter which way they do it, it’s wrong and goes against every humanitarian impulse that we as Americans share,” said Attorney Randy McGrorty, executive director of Catholic Legal Services who was quoted in the Herald article.“ It’s very shameful.”
Shameful indeed, but is it really against the American humanitarian impulse? US citizens for the most part are good people, but they have also shown a great capacity for nativism, that is to care much more about themselves or other countries that share similar ethnic makeup.
During the summer’s election hoopla scarcely a word of solidarity was issued about the bombings that occurred in Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iraq while French flags were waved when bombings happened there.
Pierre Esperance, executive director of Haiti based rights organization,the National Network Defense of Human Rights (RNDDH) was quoted in the Herald article saying the resumption of the flights was “unacceptable.” “Frankly, the American government isn’t showing solidarity with Haiti….now is not the moment to start repatriating people,” he said. Exactly.
Coincidentally, the people in charge of making this heartless decision about a Black country are Black as well. US Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is an African American. The ancestors of US slaves surely didn’t struggle to be free from slavery, Jim Crow segregation (North and South) and institutional racism and injustice in general to see progress that includes Black people in high places, who behave the same as others in high places have behaved. They held out hope that Black people would be the conscience of America a role that Blacks once admirably played.
Hopefully Americans of all races will be outraged by this news and rally, write letters, petition and protest around the country to denounce such a heartless move by the Obama administration.
justice then peace