PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — A prime U.S. official on Friday apologized for the way Haitian migrants have been handled alongside the U.S.-Mexico border, saying it’s not how border officers or the Division of Homeland Safety behave.
The feedback from Juan Gonzalez, the U.S. Nationwide Safety Council’s senior director for the Western Hemisphere, got here throughout a two-day official go to to Haiti to speak with native leaders about migration and different points.
“I need to say that it was an injustice, that it was flawed,” he stated. “The proud individuals of Haiti and any migrant need to be handled with dignity.”
The U.S. authorities not too long ago got here below fireplace for its therapy of Haitian migrants, with photos displaying males on horseback, corralling Haitian asylum-seekers.
Gonzalez was visiting with Brian Nichols, U.S. assistant secretary for Western Hemisphere affairs, amid ongoing expulsions of Haitians from the U.S. to their homeland. Since Sept. 19, the U.S. has expelled some 4,600 Haitian migrants from Del Rio, Texas on 43 flights, based on the Division of Homeland Safety.
Gonzalez stated the gathering of migrants alongside the border is a public well being emergency and warned those that are considering of leaving to not threat their lives.
“The hazard is just too nice,” he stated.
Gonzalez and Nichols beforehand met with Haitian People and Cuban People in Miami on Wednesday and with Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry, members of the civil society and political leaders in Haiti on Thursday to speak about migration, public security, the pandemic and efforts to assist these affected by the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck the nation’s southern area in mid-August.
Nichols stated that in their go to, they heard many individuals speak in regards to the challenges that Haiti faces, noting that there’s a “stunning” quantity of settlement on potential options.
“There isn’t any resolution that may work for Haiti and its people who shall be imposed from the surface,” he stated, referring to current criticism in regards to the involvement of the U.S. and different nations in Haitian affairs because it tries to get well from the earthquake and from the July 7 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse at his personal house amid a spike in gang violence. “Nonetheless, we in the US are dedicated to offering the Haitian individuals the help they should succeed and implement their very own imaginative and prescient.”
Nichols stated the dialog with the prime minister was constructive, including that the U.S. is encouraging consensus and a holistic imaginative and prescient.
“The way forward for Haiti relies upon by itself individuals,” he stated. “The US is dedicated to working with the individuals of Haiti to help as they work to deliver prosperity and safety again to their nation.”
Related Press author Dánica Coto in San Juan, Puerto Rico contributed to this report.