Hai­ti­an mi­grants are re­lea­sed from crow­ded jails

Times of Suriname - - ENGELS -

USA - Hai­ti­an mi­grants ha­ve been re­lea­sed from crow­ded jails in Ari­zo­na and Ca­li­for­nia as of­fi­ci­als strug­gle to keep up with the num­ber of tho­se trying to en­ter the US il­le­gal­ly from Mexi­co. They ha­ve been re­lea­sed on the con­di­ti­on that they agree to re­turn to im­mi­gra­ti­on court on a de­ci­ded da­te and are al­lo­wed to li­ve in so­ci­e­ty mo­ni­to­red by an­kle tags un­til then. An un­na­med of­fi­ci­al said the im­mi­grants are vet­ted be­fo­re re­lea­se to check for dange­rous cri­mi­nal back­grounds or other th­re­ats. It co­mes af­ter a sur­ge in the num­ber of Hai­tians at­temp­ting to en­ter the US this year. Un­do­cu­men­ted Hai­ti­an im­mi­grants are being re­lea­sed from US de­ten­ti­on cen­ters af­ter en­te­ring the coun­try from Mexi­co be­cau­se of jail over­crow­ding. 5,000 Hai­tians re­por­ted­ly ar­ri­ved at San Ysidro, one of Ca­li­for­nia’s bu­siest bor­der cros­sings, bet­ween Oc­to­ber 15 and la­te Sep­tem­ber this year. It boosted the il­legal im­mi­grant po­pu­la­ti­on in jails from 34,000 to 41,000 alongsi­de a sur­ge in other na­ti­o­na­li­ties trying to gain ac­cess to the coun­try. To com­bat the hig­her num­bers, pri­son of­fi­ci­als ha­ve been re­lea­sing non-th­re­a­tening Hai­tians in­to the com­mu­ni­ty. They are re­lea­sed on the con­di­ti­on that they pro­mi­se to ap­pear at im­mi­gra­ti­on court la­ter to ha­ve their ca­ses as­ses­sed. It is a re­ver­sal on the govern­ment’s re­cent vow to de­port Hai­ti­an im­mi­grants who ha­ve not fa­ced being sent ho­me for ye­ars. Pre­si­dent Oba­ma hal­ted au­to­ma­tic de­porta­ti­on for Hai­tians af­ter the coun­try suf­fe­red a de­vasta­ting earth­qua­ke in 2010, clai­ming it would put their li­ves at risk to send them back to their shat­te­red ho­m­e­land. In Sep­tem­ber, his ad­mi­ni­stra­ti­on vo­wed to re­su­me flights for un­do­cu­men­ted wor­kers in res­pon­se to the gro­wing num­bers. Ho­m­e­land se­cre­ta­ry Jeh Jo­hn­son said con­di­ti­ons had im­pro­ved ‘suf­fi­cient­ly’ to re­turn them to Hai­ti. ICE spo­kes­wo­man Jen­ni­fer El­zea said in a writ­ten sta­te­ment it is re­mo­ving Hai­tians in ac­cor­dan­ce with its en­for­ce­ment pri­o­ri­ties. ‘ICE pri­o­ri­ti­zes the re­mo­val of na­ti­o­nal se­cu­ri­ty th­re­ats, con­vic­ted fe­lons, in­di­vi­du­als con­vic­ted of sig­ni­fi­cant or mul­ti­ple mis­de­me­a­nors, and in­di­vi­du­als ap­pre­hen­ded at or bet­ween ports of en­try whi­le at­temp­ting to un­law­ful­ly en­ter the Uni­ted Sta­tes,’ she wro­te. The lar­ge num­bers of Hai­tians ar­ri­ving in Ca­li­for­nia and Ari­zo­na, and Cen­tral Ame­ri­cans co­ming across in Texas ha­ve put a tre­men­dous strain on the sy­s­tem. Cust­oms and Bor­der Pro­tec­ti­on an­noun­ced Thurs­day it was ope­ning a new tem­po­ra­ry pro­ces­sing cen­ter in an El Pa­so, Texas, sub­urb. The fa­ci­li­ty in Tor­nil­lo, Texas, will be used to pro­cess fa­mi­lies and mi­nors and can hold up to 500 pe­o­p­le. It will be up and run­ning within a week.


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