Port-of-Spain, TRINIDAD – A group of United Nations Human Rights experts have condemned
the United States of America’s policy of mass expulsion of Haitian migrants and refugees,
warning that such collective expulsion violates international law.
According to reliable information, United States policies have also deterred Haitians from
pursuing protection including asylum claims and forced them to return to other countries, where
they face an atmosphere of racial discrimination, gender violence, and xenophobic violence.
“In expediting the collective expulsion of Haitian migrants, the United States is subjecting a
group of predominantly Black migrants to impermissible risks of refoulement and human rights
abuse without any individualized evaluation,” the experts said.
“International law prohibits arbitrary or collective expulsions. States cannot label all migrants of
a certain nationality per se threats to national security, and all migrants, no matter their nationality, race or migration status, must be guaranteed the protections called for under international law,” the experts reminded the United States Government.
The experts warned that the mass deportations seemingly continued the history of racialized
exclusion of Black Haitian migrants and refugees at US ports of entry.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of Haitian refugees have gathered in Texas since September, and the US began deporting them en masse, under the US “Title 42” policy put in place under the former president Donald Trump.
At that time two UN agencies voiced concerns over the mass deportations, warning them that the expulsion might be in contravention of international law. The US special envoy to Haiti even resigned in protest over the deportation policy. “Title 42 expulsions are ostensibly based on public health concerns and do not concern themselves with immigration status.”
The UN experts, who are typically charged with monitoring respect for human rights under these
treaties and other international legal instruments sent an allegation letter to the United States Government expressing concern that its recent immigration enforcement activities against Haitian migrants likely run afoul of international refugee law and international human rights law.