No End to Horror in Haiti; One Senator Calls It a ‘Death Camp’
Sept. 24, 2021 (EIRNS)—Through White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, President Joe Biden is expressing outrage over the scenes at the U.S.-Mexican border, and has announced an investigation into the actions of the Border Patrol agents on horseback who were seen chasing Haitian immigrants in videos which have gone viral. The Department of Homeland Security has suspended the use of horse patrols on the border. But there has been no letup in the number of flights leaving Texas or Florida carrying deportees back to Haiti; in fact, as of yesterday the number of daily flights increased to seven in order to maximize the numbers to be returned to Haiti. Since the first flights on Sept. 19, a total of 19 flights have transported deportees back to Haiti, involving almost 2,000 people, 40% of whom are children, according to UNICEF.
The situation at the Port-au-Prince airport is hideous. Some of the deportees who get off the plane try desperately to get back on again, and there have been cases where angry deportees have attacked the pilot. “Luggage,” such as it is, is dumped on the tarmac and people have to scramble to get what belongs to them—sometimes just plastic bags with some clothing. UNICEF expressed great concern for the arriving children, many of whom were born in other countries and are not Haitian citizens. They are being forced into a country which can offer them no protection, no adequate housing or healthcare. One Haitian Senator today referred to his country as a “death camp.”
The International Organization of Migration offers every returning Haitian a one-time $100 hygiene kit, with some meager supplies and offers of medical services should they be needed. Otherwise, the deportees are thrust into a situation where they have no housing, no job, and no transportation in the city considered to be among the most dangerous in the Western Hemisphere, one-third of which is controlled by armed gangs. Authorities are pleading with the U.S. not to send any planes after 2:00 or 3:00 in the afternoon because the security situation gets worse later in the day, complicating everything.
Currently, what had been the camp under the Del Rio International Bridge is completely empty, and it’s not clear that all the Haitians there have been, or will be deported. Some are being held in detention camps, but several media cite unnamed government officials who say that “large numbers” of Haitians have been released into the U.S. and told to appear within 60 days to immigration offices where they are likely to be treated more leniently than by immigration courts—if they appear at all. CNN, Deutsche Welle and other media also report that there are 19,000 Haitians currently stranded on the Colombian-Panamanian border, and can’t enter Panama to travel north because of an immigration agreement between the two countries. The Haitians are said to be hoping to be allowed into the U.S. if they’re able to reach the U.S.-Mexican border.