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Common position of SJM-Haiti, GARR and RFJS against the massive expulsions of Haitian migrants by the US Government

For immediate release

Port-au-Prince, September 28, 2021- We, Jesuit Migrant Service (SJM-Haiti), Support Group for Returnees and Refugees (GARR) and Jeannot Succès Border Network (RFJS), express our dismay and deep sorrow at the inhumane decision of the Biden administration to expel thousands of Haitian migrants to Haiti. This decision, which also affects women and children, was made without considering the serious psychosocial consequences on the migrants, nor the context of the socio-economic, political and environmental crises that are currently shaking Haiti.

We, SJM-Haiti, GARR and RFJS, are deeply disturbed by the horrific and inhumane treatment of Haitian migrants by Border Patrol agents while seeking refuge in the United States. These appalling images evoke nightmares from the days of slavery when white settlers hunted black people across mountains and valleys.

Given the growing insecurity crisis that has taken hold in Haiti for several years and the numerous damages caused by the recent earthquake that devastated the South part of the country, with approximately 800,000 people affected and only 10% of the victims have received humanitarian assistance so far, Haiti is not currently able to adequately meet the needs of the expelled people. In this sense, we urge the American authorities to:

  • suspend the expulsion of Haitian migrants while providing them with the humanitarian means to better manage this crisis ;
  • respect the rights of Haitian migrants while providing them a better treatment ;
  • support the Haitian authorities in their efforts to solve the main structural problems facing the country ;

On the other hand, we recommend that the Haitian government to :

  • fully assume its responsibilities by taking care of the Haitian migrants who have arrived in the country since the past weekend and possibly those who will arrive ;
  • put in place real social programs capable of responding adequately to the needs of the most vulnerable of the society in order to allow them to live in dignity in their country, which will be able to curb the wave of migration ;
  • regain control of neighborhoods occupied by armed gangs in order to allow expelled people to reintegrate into their communities of origin ;

In the same logic, we take the opportunity to call for solidarity towards all countries, communities and sectors to be more hospitable towards migrants, especially those Haitians. Because they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect for their rights.

– END –

The signatories of this press release

For SJM-Haiti           : Father Levelt MICHAUD, SJ, Director

For RFJS                  : Mrs. Manise ÉLIE, Coordinator

For GARR                 : Mr. Angenor BRUTUS, Coordinator

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