Dignity and Respect for Haitian Refugees at the U.S. Border
Statement from SOIL CEO, Dr. Sasha Kramer, September 21, 2021
As an organization working on public health and human rights issues in Haiti for the past 16 years, SOIL unequivocally condemns the treatment of Haitian refugees on the Texas border. We are horrified at the way that public health measures enacted to protect human lives would be abused and distorted to unabashedly crush the hopes of thousands of Haitian families fighting for access to basic human rights, putting them directly in harm’s way.
The world is now witnessing the largest deportation operation in U.S. history on the southern border as the U.S. sends hundreds of families seeking asylum back to Haiti each day in direct violation of the right to claim asylum. This unprecedented expulsion of Haitian migrants is being carried out using Title 42, a measure which allows U.S. Border Patrol to prohibit entry into the U.S. of people who pose a potential public health risk, regardless of immigration status. This measure allows for the expulsion of asylum seekers without the right to due process. The Biden administration has previously made clear that the Haitian government is not positioned to receive deportees given the ongoing security situation in the country, the absence of an elected government and the recent earthquake which strained Haiti’s already limited resources. We firmly believe that public health concerns can be mitigated through the provision of basic humanitarian services and relocation to safe spaces, which would allow for COVID-19 prevention measures including testing and social distancing.
We raise our voices in partnership with hundreds of human rights organizations who have called for an immediate halt to expulsions without due process. Every human being should be treated with dignity and respect and we stand with our Haitian brothers and sisters at the border.
Erica Lloyd, Director of Research and Innovation
Eliza Parish, Development Director