On Thursday, the U.S. State Department issued an extensive travel warning that advised U.S. Citizens against non-essential travel to Haiti. Political unrest stemming from the recent disputed election, cholera, violent crime, and lack of access to medical care were all cited as reasons.
That did not stop the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement from announcing the very next day that deportations would resume for some Haitians currently in the United States. From the AP:
Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Barbara Gonzalez said Friday that the U.S. expects to begin flying deportees with criminal records back to Haiti in January in coordination with Haiti’s government.
Gonzalez says ICE is must deport people with criminal records or release them “if their repatriation is not reasonably foreseeable.”
A stay on deportations has been in effect since the earthquake.
It is worth noting:
1) the Cholera epidemic shows no sign of abatement. (There have been 2,193 deaths and 46,749 hospitalized cases of cholera since the beginning of the outbreak;
2) 1.3 million people are still homeless;
3) Violence stemming from a political crisis last week forced embassies to shut down and airlines to cancel service.
It is no wonder that a group of human rights organizations have called the decision to begin repatriating Haitians, “unconscionable.” Based on what she saw there this weekend, I wonder if Sarah Palin agrees?