Southern Border Region – In response to the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to resume the removal of Haitian earthquake survivors arriving at the border, the Southern Border Communities Coalition released the following statement:
“The Administration’s unconscionable decision breaks a promise the American people made to not forsake or forget the Haitian people after the devastating earthquake of 2010. While the Administration has relented in its commitments to help the Haitian earthquake survivors, southern border communities have come together to aid families who are seeking legal entry to the United States on humanitarian grounds.
Haiti, the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, is in no condition to receive people back. In fact, reports on the ground are that the country is worse off than before the earthquake; only last month, the United Nations finally took responsibility for a still-raging cholera epidemic.
Because Haiti is not capable of absorbing returning migrants, this decision will mean indefinite detention for Haitian earthquake survivors, including women and children who have been repeatedly traumatized as displaced people. Taxpayers should not be funding the detention of Haitians who pose no threat and who would otherwise be helping to rebuild their country.
This is a devastating blow to the Haitian earthquake survivors seeking protection from the United States. Asking these traumatized people to turn back and again endure dangerous, perilous conditions will undoubtedly lead to more tragedy. Asking them to return to Brazil, where their status is unstable and uncertain, is illogical and irresponsible. These survivors are displaced people that urgently need humanitarian assistance, not harsh enforcement.
This policy change does not reflect our values. Period.
WE URGE THE ADMINISTRATION TO KEEP ITS WORD AND CONTINUE TO OFFER HUMANITARIAN AID TO THE SURVIVORS OF THE 2010 HAITIAN EARTHQUAKE.”