Deportations of Haitians from the United States increased by 1699 percent in 2017 compared to 2016, largely due to a change in policy under the Obama administration at the end of his second term, according to government data.
In fiscal year 2017, 5,578 Haitians were expelled from the US. UU., A significant increase of the 310 who were deported in the fiscal year 2016.
That increase coincided with a general decrease in deportations: 226,119 people were deported in 2017, a decrease of almost 6 percent since 2016 when 240,255 people were deported, according to federal data.
A woman carries water through the largest earthquake refugee camp in February 2010 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, after a massive earthquake the previous month. It is believed that more than 212,000 people died in an earthquake, which left another three million injured or homeless. The country continues devastated eight years later, with Hurricane Matthew and other natural disasters that hinder recovery efforts
The change began in September 2016, just before the start of fiscal year 2017, when the Obama administration announced that it had resumed the illegal elimination of Haitians who were in the country.
He had stopped the practice in all cases, except in the most serious, after the earthquake of 2010 that caused a lasting devastation in the infrastructure of the country.
The timing of the increase in deportations also coincided with an increase of 203 percent in Haitians arriving at the southern border of the United States, according to the 2016 government data.
Many Haitians had emigrated to Brazil before that country hosted the 2014 World Cup, when jobs were available to develop the infrastructure for games. As those jobs were exhausted in 2015 and 2016, more Haitians began to try to move to the US. UU Across the southern border of the USA UU
The arrivals of Haitians to that border increased to 3,643 immigrants in 2016, compared to 1,201 in 2015, according to data from the US Border Patrol. UU And Customs obtained by DailyMail.com.
That number increased again by 74 percent in 2017, with 6,399 Haitians arriving at border crossings in the southern United States. UU
The flow of Haitians has decreased since then, with 1,029 arriving at one of the border posts on the southern border of the United States. UU In the first nine months of the fiscal year 2020.
The deportation data for FY2018 were not yet available.
The increase in deportations did not affect Haitians in the United States under Temporary Protected Status (TPS), a status extended to foreign citizens who can stay and work in the country because they are from nations affected by armed conflicts or natural disasters.
Haitian and African immigrants seeking asylum in the United States line up in front of a migration office in Mexico, in October 2016, in Tijuana, northwest Mexico.
While the increase in deportations of Haitians began under Obama, a notice from the Department of Homeland Security published in January 2018 has further diminished the number of Haitians in the country by eliminating their eligibility for temporary agricultural and seasonal visas in the United States. United.
The notice, issued under Trump's administration, said that the recipients of those visas have historically shown high levels of fraud and abuse and a high rate of permanence over time, and that the inclusion of Haiti for those visas no longer benefits the victims. USA UU
That change came a week after Trump allegedly called Haiti and other countries with problems in the field and a few months after the government announced that it would end the Temporary Protection Status for Haitians.
Donald Trump ordered the cancellation of TPS for Haitians beginning in July 2019. The termination will force the exodus of nearly 60,000 foreign nationals living in the United States, many of whom have been here for a decade or more.
In addition, the Trump administration issued a policy change in January 2017 that broadened the scope of immigration enforcement compliance priorities, said Randy Capps, director of research for US programs at the Immigrant Immigration Policy Institute.
The internal note has affected immigrants from all countries of origin, as it ends the procedural discretion, a measure that allowed government lawyers to prioritize the deportation of more serious offenders and prioritize cases with immigrants who had not committed other crimes.
People, many of them with Haitian flags, meet in January 2018 near the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, where Donald Trump was staying, to condemn the president for his declared declaration calling Haiti, Africa and the countries of El Salvador. Savior. & # 39;
Regardless of who made the policy changes, Haitian communities feel "directed" to deportation, said Geralde Gabeau, executive director of the Boston-based Immigrant Family Services Institute.
"There is a long list of people who have been deported in recent months," said Gabeau, who is Haitian.
"It's something the community is not always aware of since people are deported so quickly that we do not have time to find out what's going on," he added. & # 39; It is a way to get rid of as many of our brothers and sisters as possible & # 39;
The Haitian population in the USA UU It has steadily increased since at least 1980, and has tripled between 1990 and 2015, according to an analysis of the Migration Policy Institute's Census data.
The United States has the largest population of Haitian immigrants in the world, with Florida and New York as home to the largest Haitian communities in the nation.