Haitian deportees: neither here nor there

By Michelle Chen Feb 18, 2009

The U.S. government has been deporting immigrants by the thousands, but at least one group of people facing an "order of removal" aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Activists are protesting in the wake of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s announcement that about 30,300 Hatians are slated for deportation, with several hundred placed in detention or under the grasp of electronic monitoring. Both Haitian officials and community advocates are demanding immigration relief, to let Haitians residing illegally to stay in the United States as their home country recovers from a devastating storm season. The United States has refused to extend protected status to Haitians threatened with removal, despite Haiti’s insistence that it is not ready to accommodate the influx of deportees. Now, the Haitian government is pushing back by refusing to process the deportation orders. ICE argues that Haiti’s resistance will force people to languish longer in detention. America’s relationship with Haiti is unique, entangled not just with immigration, but global economic policy and a long history of political upheaval. But the idea of any country actively resisting the directives of U.S. immigration policy could have global implications. Immigration is fundamentally about the relationship between different societies—what happens when the other side makes an ethical or political decision not to cooperate? Image: CaribWorldNews