Here’s some of what I’ve seen and read about the issue since I wrote about it yesterday:
There is a petition on MoveOn.org to ask the United States government to intervene and stop the deportation of the Haitians from the DR. You can sign the petition at Moveon.org.
The deadline was supposed to be today to begin the deportations. This article in the Guardian explains quite well the logistics and the fact that of a potential 200,000 to 250,000 people of Haitian descent, only 10,000 have been able to file the newly required paperwork and only 300 have actually gotten the permits. So, even if the process and the requirements weren’t racist and discriminatory, there is no way that the bureacracy of the DR could issue the paperwork in time.
This article is actually in Creole – and so I can’t say I understand it all. But from what a friend of mine (30 year resident of Haiti) told me, it basically says:
- President Martelly is saying that Haiti will welcome the deported Haitian immigrants with dignity.
- We are working on a way to welcome them into Haiti.
I was also told that the government of the DR has put a 45 day moratorium on deportations in order to attempt to accomplish two things:
- Give the government of the DR time to process a few more of the files that were completed. Anyone want to venture a guess as to how many of the 10,000 will be processed and, in a world where documentation is in many cases non existent, meet the requirements?
- Give the Haitian government time to prepare a “welcome plan” at the UN Military base near the northern border. I dare venture that a government with the resources like the US has would be hard pressed to implement a plan and have resources in place in 45 days, let alone a government with limited resources.
There are a lot of moving parts to this, but it truly has the makings of a humanitarian disaster of epic proportions. Please keep spreading the word, asking for help and praying for those involved.