U.S. Customs and Border Protection is reportedly releasing thousands of Haitian migrants it has detained into the United States as a result of new hurricane-related restrictions that limit travel from Haitian refugee camps to the United States.
Migration Policy Institute researchers were unable to corroborate the reports, but said there were rumors circulating around New Orleans that migrant children were being flown out of Port-au-Prince to the United States.
Migration Policy Institute is reporting on migrant children and parents that were being released into the U.S. after being held on Port-au-Prince detention facilities. — Aimee Sohn (@AimeeSohn_News) May 15, 2018
Officials familiar with the situation say that DHS is actually detaining almost twice as many migrants from Haiti as they did a month ago and that the deportations appear to be a temporary measure while the agency sorts out how to deal with the new rules.
Speaking to reporters in Washington, Homeland Security spokeswoman Gillian Christensen denied any changes to Haitian arrivals, saying the organization is “still enforcing existing immigration policies.” She added that they had instructed CBP to review detention policy for Haitian migrants in light of the change in rules, but that at this point it was unclear whether they would release any Haitian detainees. “What [the policy] will mean for Haiti’s access to safe and stable asylum procedures,” Christensen said, “remains unclear at this time.”
U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has signalled its interest in detaining, and possibly deporting, Haitian migrants, leading Haitians to worry that it was targeting their country of origin. Most immigration policies in the United States, including provisions allowing citizenship to some spouses and parents of U.S. citizens, are established through legislation and not through direct executive action.
The Haitian Embassy in Washington told the New York Times on Monday that it was in touch with the U.S. Department of State to find out what the new rules mean for Haitians in the United States.
Read the full story at The New York Times.
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