A Thursday media release by the Haitian Bridge Alliance in California’s Orange County said that since October 5, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has deported up to 600 Haitian migrants to Haiti, Cameroon and other African countries.
“This includes up to 100 children, some of which are babies of 3-5 months. Asylum seekers, chained, put into planes and deported. This is inhumane and unconscionable,” Guerline M. Jozef, the alliance’s executive director said.
As part of their efforts to raise aware, the Haitian Bridge Alliance sent an October 13 letter to the Congressional Black Caucus, asking for members of Congress to interview.
The Thursday release said that “ICE continues to ignore these pleas for help and have only made a dire situation worse. Just this morning, October 15, two additional planes full of asylum seekers (not including the 600 previously mentioned) have been deported to Haiti.”
“This is madness. We don’t even have the time to push and advocate against the first few waves of deportations. Now ICE today continues their mass deportation campaign against us. American needs to wake up. We have to stop the attacks on Black migrants now,” Guerline added.
According to RAICES in Texas, Haitian migrants have experienced prolonged detention during the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the Karnes County detention facility alone, RAICES said that 44% of migrants detained from March 1-June 1 were of Haitian descent.
Last week, the Haitian Bridge Alliance and other community groups filed a multi-individual complaint against ICE for using coercive tactics forcing Black migrants to sign their own deportation orders, the Thursday release noted.
The Haitian Bridge Alliance is a steering committee member of the Orange County Rapid Response Network and has been at the forefront in supporting Haitians and other Black migrants seeking refuge in the U.S., as legally allowed under asylum law.