US sus­pends Hai­ti­an de­porta­ti­on po­li­cy

Times of Suriname - - ENGELS -

USA - The US govern­ment has pla­ced a tem­po­ra­ry hold on a re­cent po­li­cy chan­ge that may ha­ve put thou­sands of Hai­tians li­ving in the US in danger of being de­por­ted to a coun­try de­vasta­ted by Hur­ri­ca­ne Mat­thew. Ho­m­e­land Se­cu­ri­ty Se­cre­ta­ry Jeh Jo­hn­son said Tues­day that so­me flights to Hai­ti ha­ve been sus­pen­ded in the wa­ke of the storm, which has kil­led hund­reds of Hai­tians and put thou­sands mo­re at risk of star­va­ti­on or cho­le­ra. “We will ha­ve to deal with that si­tu­a­ti­on, ad­dress it, be sym­pa­the­tic to the plight of the pe­o­p­le of Hai­ti as a re­sult of the hur­ri­ca­ne,” Jo­hn­son said Tues­day in Mexi­co Ci­ty, whe­re he held talks with Ca­bi­net of­fi­ci­als on bor­der, mi­gra­ti­on and se­cu­ri­ty is­sues. He ad­ded that the US in­tends to re­turn to its de­porta­ti­on po­li­cy on­ce the hu­ma­ni­ta­ri­an cri­sis is un­der con­trol. “Af­ter that si­tu­a­ti­on, af­ter that con­di­ti­on has been ad­dres­sed, we in­tend to re­su­me the po­li­cy chan­ge that I brought about se­ve­r­al weeks ago,” Jo­hn­son said. An Oba­ma ad­mi­ni­stra­ti­on di­rec­ti­ve un­vei­led last month was de­sig­ned to put an end to tem­po­ra­ry pro­vi­si­ons that al­lo­wed Hai­tians to en­ter the US wit­hout a vi­sa. That po­li­cy ca­me out of an ex­tra­or­di­na­ry wa­ve of mi­grants co­ming to the US in the ye­ars sin­ce Hai­ti was hit by a de­vasta­ting earth­qua­ke in 2010. As ma­ny as 5,000 Hai­tians we­re in­ter­cep­ted at the bor­der within the last year alo­ne, ad­mi­ni­stra­ti­on of­fi­ci­als said last month, up from 339 en­tries the year be­fo­re. Most en­te­red through sou­t­hern Ca­li­for­nia. In an­noun­cing the po­li­cy chan­ge last month, Jo­hn­son said the si­tu­a­ti­on in Hai­ti had “im­pro­ved suf­fi­cient­ly” sin­ce 2010. But as Hur­ri­ca­ne Mat­thew ap­pro­a­ched, cri­tics war­ned the new de­porta­ti­on po­li­cy was ill-fa­ted and poor­ly ti­med.

Hur­ri­ca­ne Mat­thew has left hund­reds dead and tens of thou­sands dis­pla­ced in Hai­ti. (Photo: irin­news)

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