• Monthly
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $other
  • use PayPal

ONE WEEK TO DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!

A generous CounterPuncher has offered a $25,000 matching grant. So for this week only, whatever you can donate will be doubled up to $25,000! If you have the means, please donate! If you already have done so, thank you for your support. All contributions are tax-deductible.
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Born in the Bahamas, Raised in the US, Deported to … Haiti?

As someone who writes about deportation, I hear and write about heartbreaking stories on a regular basis. Trust me, then, when I say that the deportation of people born in the Bahamas from the United States to Haiti is just about as bad as it gets.

Here’s the scenario. When Haitian citizens have children in the Bahamas, and they are in that country illegally, the children are Haitian citizens. If those children subsequently come to the United States and commit a minor or major criminal offense, they face deportation to Haiti.

There is a woman currently in immigration detention in Northern Florida. Seth Freed Wessler interviewed her, and he calls her Natalia, so I will do the same. Natalia was born in the Bahamas to a Haitian woman, which makes her a citizen of Haiti, even though she has never been to Haiti. When Natalia was two days old, her mother brought her to the United States. Fast forward twenty years. Natalia, now the mother of a newborn, is caught shoplifting with the father of her child. Her attorney advises her to plead guilty to get a lesser sentence. She does. However, now she faces deportation to Haiti. The United States is the only country Natalia has ever known. She does not speak Haitian Creole. Yet, she faces deportation to Haiti, a country still recovering from a massive earthquake, with political unrest, and a cholera outbreak.

The Los Angeles Times reports on a similar case. Patrick Escarment was born in the Bahamas to a Haitian woman. When he was four years old, she brought him to the United States. His mother died when Patrick was a young man, and he turned to selling cocaine during those tough times. He was convicted of selling cocaine, and sentenced to 18 months of probation. In January 2011, at the age of 21, he was deported to Haiti. Upon arrival, he was placed in a squalid holding cell covered with feces, urine, blood and vomit. One of the other deportees with whom he arrived, 34-year old Wildrick Guerrier, died of cholera-like symptoms two weeks after arriving in Haiti.

Deporting people born in the Bahamas and raised in the United States to Haiti for minor criminal offenses is a clear example of a punishment that does not fit the crime. Both Patrick and Natalia have children in the United States – children who will grow up without one of their parents. The suggestion that they take their children with them to Haiti is unrealistic, as they can barely survive in the country themselves. Both Patrick and Natalia were convicted of fairly minor crimes, and the punishment of exile from the only country they have ever known is exceedingly harsh. Moreover, they are being deported to Haiti, a country they know nothing about, have no ties to, and whose language they do not speak. That would be bad enough, but, to top things off, Haiti is still recovering from a massive earthquake and has a cholera epidemic.

TANYA GOLASH-BOZA is on the faculty at the University of Kansas. She blogs at: http://www.stopdeportationsnow.blogspot.com/

More articles by:

Tanya Golash-Boza is the author of: Yo Soy Negro Blackness in PeruImmigration Nation: Raids, Detentions and Deportations in Post-9/11 Americaand Due Process Denied: Detentions and Deportations in the United States. Her new book Deported: Immigrant Policing, Disposable Labor, and Global Capitalism will be published by NYU Press in 2015.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
October 18, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Anthony DiMaggio
Trump as the “Anti-War” President: on Misinformation in American Political Discourse
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Where’s the Beef With Billionaires?
Rob Urie
Capitalism and the Violence of Environmental Decline
Paul Street
Bernie in the Deep Shit: Dismal Dem Debate Reflections
Andrew Levine
What’s So Awful About Foreign Interference?
T.J. Coles
Boris Johnson’s Brexit “Betrayal”: Elect a Clown, Expect a Pie in Your Face
Joseph Natoli
Trump on the March
Ashley Smith
Stop the Normalization of Concentration Camps
Pete Dolack
The Fight to Overturn the Latest Corporate Coup at Pacifica Has Only Begun
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Russophobia at Democratic Party Debate
Chris Gilbert
Forward! A Week of Protest in Catalonia
Daniel Beaumont
Pressing Done Here: Syria, Iraq and “Informed Discussion”
Daniel Warner
Greta the Disturber
M. G. Piety
“Grim Positivism” vs. Truthiness in Biography
John Kendall Hawkins
Journey to the Unknown Interior of (You)
Christopher Fons – Conor McMullen
The Centrism of Elizabeth Warren
Nino Pagliccia
Peace Restored in Ecuador, But is trust?
Rebecca Gordon
Extorting Ukraine is Bad Enough But Trump Has Done Much Worse
Kathleen Wallace
Trump Can’t Survive Where the Bats and Moonlight Laugh
Clark T. Scott
Cross-eyed, Fanged and Horned
Eileen Appelbaum
The PR Campaign to Hide the Real Cause of those Sky-High Surprise Medical Bills
Olivia Alperstein
Nuclear Weapons are an Existential Threat
Colin Todhunter
Asia-Pacific Trade Deal: Trading Away Indian Agriculture?
Sarah Anderson
Where is “Line Worker Barbie”?
Brian Cloughley
Yearning to Breathe Free
Jill Richardson
Why are LGBTQ Rights Even a Debate?
Jesse Jackson
What I Learn While Having Lunch at Cook County Jail
Kathy Kelly
Death, Misery and Bloodshed in Yemen
Maximilian Werner
Leadership Lacking for Wolf Protection
Arshad Khan
The Turkish Gambit
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Rare Wildflower vs. Mining Company
Dianne Woodward
Race Against Time (and For Palestinians)
Norman Ball
Wall Street Sees the Light of Domestic Reindustrialization
Ramzy Baroud
The Last Lifeline: The Real Reason Behind Abbas’ Call for Elections
Binoy Kampmark
African Swine Fever Does Its Worst
Nicky Reid
Screwing Over the Kurds: An All-American Pastime
Louis Proyect
“Our Boys”: a Brutally Honest Film About the Consequences of the Occupation
Cesar Chelala
Donald Trump vs. William Shakespeare
Susan Block
How “Hustlers” Hustles Us
Ron Jacobs
Calling the Kettle White: Ishmael Reed Unbound
Stephen Cooper
Scientist vs. Cooper: The Interview, Round 3 
Susan Block
How “Hustlers” Hustles Us
Charles R. Larson
Review: Elif Shafak’s “10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World”
David Yearsley
Sunset Songs
October 17, 2019
Steve Early
The Irishman Cometh: Teamster History Hits the Big Screen (Again)
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail