February 7th was the day a new government should have been inaugurated in Haiti. The day came and went without a new president, or a new agreement on a process to elect one. It also passed without any significant protests or conflict. Given the security situation, that last bit is not really surprising.
The Biden Administration deported more than 16,000 Haitian refugees between September 19, 2021 and January 25, 2022. A large portion of these expulsions are family groups; nearly 20% of those expelled are children. The obscenity of expelling refugee children, some as young as 15 days old, would seem to require no complicated exegesis to demonstrate. It is quite obviously the wrong thing to do. Yet, Biden persists.
The Biden administration continues to expel Haitian refugees at an alarming rate. 15,920 Haitians have been expelled on 148 flights since the current wave of mass deportations began on September 19. Over 18,000 Haitians have been expelled since Biden took office.
On August 14, 2021, a series of earthquakes struck Haiti’s southern peninsula, leaving 2,400 people dead and doing enormous damage to the area’s infrastructure. Like most of Haiti outside of Port au Prince, the peninsula is a predominantly agricultural area. Damage to roads and bridges, the death of farm animals, and mudslides from the tropical storm that struck the area a few days later, have all conspired to threaten food production.
Twelve years ago today, a massive earthquake brought down buildings throughout the Port au Prince area, killing hundreds of thousands of people and displacing many more. As a result, January 12 is a national day of mourning in Haiti.
For the United States it is just another day to expel Haitian refugees - 443 Haitians were expelled today on three flights.
Today marks not just the start of 2022, but Haiti's Independence Day. For the occasional, our board member Serge Hyacinthe explains the importance of January 1st in Haiti and the special meaning behind soup joumou, as well as how to make it at home.
On Monday, December 20, the Biden administration sent three removal flights back to Haiti, with over 340 people on them including 32 children. As we move into Christmas week the administration plans to send planes every day back to Haiti, except for Christmas eve. Since taking office, the Biden administration has removed over 14,000 people to Haiti; at least 11,100 since mid-September.
On Tuesday, December 14 the Biden Administration sent two full removal flights to Haiti. These were the 94th and 95th such flights since Biden launched mass deportations to Haiti in mid-September. The deportations are ostensibly a response to an increase in the number of Haitians attempting to cross into the United States in September.
[caption id="attachment_10036" align="alignnone" width="700"] Photo Courtesy of John Lazarre & Guerline Jozef[/caption]
Below is the text version of a presentation by Quixote Center Executive Director Kim Lamberty, DMin upon receiving Pax Christi's 14th Annual Peacemaker Award, November 7, 2021. A video of the presentation is below.
Thank you. I have worked with many of you for a long time and it is special to be recognized by one’s peers and communities. Thanks also to each of you present this evening –I am feeling the love.
We have been writing a great deal about the multiple crises in Haiti as well as the treatment of migrants from Haiti in Mexico and at the United States border. Sometimes it feels as though keeping up with these very important issues takes time away from celebrating the wonderful work that is also happening in Haiti, in particular with our partners at the Jean Marie Vincent Formation Center in Gros Morne.