April 19, 2024

Get daily links in your email


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) yesterday returned a planeload of 52 Haitian citizens to their country, even though governance has collapsed and violence is rampant there. The plane landed in the northern city of Cap-Haïtien because the airport in the capital, Port-au-Prince, is too unsafe.

During the first six months of fiscal 2024, Haiti was the number-fifteen nationality of migrants who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border between ports of entry, well behind even China, India, and Turkey. 97 percent of Haitians seeking protection at the border in 2024 have instead reported to ports of entry, in nearly all cases using the CBP One smartphone app.

“Just where are these deportees supposed to go?” William O’Neill, the UN independent human rights expert on Haiti, asked the Miami Herald. “I would just ask the United States and all countries to halt immediately all deportations to a country that cannot guarantee anyone’s security, where 1.5 million people are facing famine and where embassies are evacuating most of their personnel.”

In March, a letter from 481 organizations (including WOLA) had urged the Biden administration to suspend deportation flights to Haiti.

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) alerted that its personnel in Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras saw more cases of sexual violence against migrants during the first quarter of 2024 (over 250) than they did in all of 2023 (232). Most cases occurred in Mexico’s organized crime-influenced U.S. border state of Tamaulipas.

MSF reported in March that it had counted 676 cases of sexual violence in the Darién Gap in 2023, and another 120 in January 2024. Shortly afterward, Panama’s government suspended the organization’s operations in the country.

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Communications Luis Miranda said that the average wait for a CBP One appointment right now is about 10 weeks. This contrasts with recent reports of appointments routinely taking six or even eight months at some border crossings.

“I am concerned that hate, bigotry and xenophobia are clouding our potential to prosper together,” Mexico’s foreign minister, Alicia Bárcena, wrote in a Dallas Morning News column directed at Texas state authorities. Bárcena is currently visiting Texas border cities.

Interviewed by CBS News, Cuba’s deputy foreign minister said that his government would be willing to accept more than the current tempo of one U.S. deportation flight per month.

Colombia has fallen behind on regularizing the status of Venezuelan migrants who arrive without passports, and this is incentivizing many Venezuelans to migrate to the United States, reported Manuel Rueda at PRX’s The World.

Two South Texas legislators, Rep. Henry Cuellar (D) and Rep. Monica de la Cruz (R), alleged that Catholic Charities of San Antonio misused federal funding by paying for released migrants’ airfare to destination cities in the U.S. interior.

Analyses and Feature Stories

Reporting from San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora, a border city near Yuma, Arizona, the BBC’s Linda Pressly focused on the powerful criminal organizations increasingly extorting and kidnapping migrants there. “These extortionists and hostage-takers are not only professional criminals—some are also law enforcement,” Pressly noted.

Ariel Ruiz Soto of the Migration Policy Institute told the Voice of America that “root causes” strategies have their limits: “For example, if Microsoft wanted to set up a hub in Guatemala, they would need not only to include money to build the building, to hire workers, provide training, but also a counterpart allocation from the Guatemalan government to build the roads, to have the infrastructure for the electricity, to have broadband internet.”

“A vast enforcement crackdown is likely to harm economic opportunity in the United States,” reads a column from the Peterson Institute for International Economics’ Michael Clemens, author of a new statistical study of how the availability of lawful pathways reduces unlawful border crossings. “A rational way out of this crisis would be to set up a system expanding legal access for immigrants to the United States while retaining some categories as unlawful.”

On the Right

Tags: News Links