In recent days an alarming number of asylum seekers, including children and pregnant women, have been deported to Haiti despite efforts by the Biden administration to put a moratorium on all deportations. This is happening during a pandemic and a growing, violent political crisis in Haiti.
U.S. immigration authorities have justified continuing deportations under the CDC health order, Title 42, which allows rapid deportations due to the public health crisis. However, given the prevalence of COVID-19 in the United States and especially in immigration detention, the deportations are likely to lead to outbreaks in impoverished communities in Haiti.
Haiti is also going through a political crisis. The president has stated he will remain in power despite the opposition's insistence that his term ended on February 7, 2021. This has led to widespread protests, kidnappings, and rampant gang activity. The Catholic bishops in Haiti say the country is "on the verge of explosion." Read more about the crisis: Abby Belt, a Maryknoll Lay Missioner in Haiti, reflects on what the crisis has been like for Haitian mothers in a recent blog post.
Photo, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, by Alex Proimos available on Flickr.