Haitians at risk of deportation
The Bahamas, for decades, has made clear that its Haitian residents, especially the undocumented, are not welcome. They are unfairly stigmatized, ostracized and bad-mouthed. But this is the worst time for the country to resume its iron-clad immigration policy of deporting Haitians who have been living in the Bahamas illegally.
In September, after Hurricane Dorian brought utter devastation to Grand Bahama Island and Abaco Island, Prime Minister Hubert Minnis declared that deportations would be suspended, a justified respite. Recently, though, he announced they would resume.
Obviously, the trauma of being deported before the hurricane to a dysfunctional Haiti — rocked by corruption, protests, an ineffectual government, a flummoxed president, food scarcity, rampant unemployment and even tent cities still inhabited almost a decade after the 2010 earthquake — pales in comparison to barely surviving Dorian’s deadly ferocity and then being kicked out of the country, perhaps still unsure if relatives are dead in the debris or alive somewhere.
Deportations, no doubt, will resume. However, it is particularly cruel to do so at this time. This is the same argument that the Editorial Board has made in recommending U.S. protection of Haitians who fled here. (AP)