M4RJ Denounces Trump's Move to Deport 59,000 Haitian Immigrants
The March for Racial Justice emphatically condemns the Trump Administration’s move on Monday, November 20th, 2017 to end temporary protections for 59,000 Haitian immigrants who came here to live and work in the aftermath of 2010’s devastating earthquake. Their loss of protected status will force them to leave the country before July 2019 or face deportation.
This cruel and inhumane move will tear families apart as this forced expulsion applies to some members of families and not others. Haitians with temporary protected status have families still in Haiti who rely on the money they are able to make here in the U.S. Forcing them to return to Haiti is relegating them to a country that has yet to rebound from the earthquake and subsequent natural disasters. It will deprive them of jobs, of safety and of a chance to help their families here and at home. The end of TPS by the Trump administration is part of an irrefutable pattern of white supremacism that is both xenophobic and virulently racist, with little regard for human life and dignity.
Haiti is no stranger to systemic racism. Their former enslavers and rapists, the French colonists, left Haiti with a sharply degraded environment, leaving the country vulnerable to natural disasters. France then further saddled Haiti and the Haitian people with the Independence Debt of 1825, payment for the money slavers lost when Haiti gained its independence. The debt - the modern equivalent of roughly $21 billion - hampered Haiti’s ability to economically develop and has continued to do so up to today.
World leaders, institutions and the media have routinely misrepresented Haitians as being unable to self-govern while conveniently sidestepping their own egregious and criminal malfeasance in that country. For example, after the 2010 earthquake, one of the worst outbreaks of cholera ever recorded ravaged Haiti, killing 10,000 people and making an additional 700,000 people seriously ill. People are still suffering the crippling effects of this disease to this day. It wasn’t until Hurricane Matthew in 2016 that the United Nations finally admitted responsibility for the cholera outbreak. The UN had poor sanitation at one of their peacekeeping camps which sent cholera-infected sewage into Haiti’s largest tributary, the Artibonite River. The UN has yet to fully compensate Haiti for this flagrant and fatal carelessness. The United States, the IMF, the UN, the Red Cross and the World Bank have all profoundly failed Haiti numerous times and continue to promote the false narrative that Haitians are the sole source of blame for the economic, medical and infrastructural crisis that plagues the nation.
The Trump administration, instead of offering a remedy to Haiti and the Haitian people - will be further stressing the capacity of the Haitian government and disrupting the lives of 59,000 people and their families with the end of TPS. In this action, we again see Trump appealing to his base of white supremacists, pandering to it for his own political aggrandizement. There is no humane or moral reason to send Haitians back to conditions of extreme vulnerability and insecurity. None.
We call on the Trump Administration to stop this cruel and unnecessary move against the Haitian people. Not only is TPS a necessary response to the humanitarian crisis Haitians continue to face, but it is the least the United States can do to pay back the Haitian people for causing years of economic and political destabilization. We call on all of you to stand in solidarity with those who need temporary protected status. We call on you to continue to shed light on racist abuses like this and support ongoing efforts to protect vulnerable communities as much as you all can.
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