A group of UN human rights experts Monday condemned the US policy of mass expulsions of Haitian migrants and refugees, warning that collective expulsions violate international law.
Thousands of Haitian refugees have gathered in Texas since September, and the US began deporting them en masse, under the so-called “Title 42” policy put in place under former president Donald Trump. At that time two UN agencies voiced concerns over the mass deportations, warning then that the expulsions might be in contravention of international law. The US special envoy to Haiti even resigned in protest over the deportation policy. Title 42 expulsions are ostensibly based on public health concerns and do not concern themselves with immigration status.
The experts noted that “International law prohibits arbitrary or collective expulsions,” and reminded the US that a state “cannot label all migrants of a certain nationality per se threats to national security.” The experts also said that the mass deportations seem to be part of a history in the US of racialized exclusion of Black Haitian migrants and refugees at ports of entry. They added that US policy has deterred migrants from pursuing asylum claims and forced them to return to other countries where they face discrimination and violence.
The experts have sent an allegation letter to the US government, not yet available at press time, noting that the immigration policy with respect to Haitian immigrants may run afoul of international refugee law and international human rights law.