Haitians & African refugees from “shithole countries” denied refugee rights on US southern border

Refugees at Tapachula, Chiapas waiting to register (Encarni Pindado for the Guardian)  Jan 12 2016

January 12th is the 8th anniversary of the 2010 Haitian earthquake. They don’t know how many people were killed but estimates are as high as 315,000. The consequences of that earthquake were a UN troop occupation which brought a cholera epidemic; the invasion of over 10,000 NGOs milking humanitarian aid to enrich themselves, including the Clinton Foundation; the creation of a sweatshop economy orchestrated by then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Millions were pledged in humanitarian aid but they didn’t clear the rubble, provide port-au-potties, or build housing. The US has militarily & diplomatically intervened in Haiti, including under Obama, not because it is an unmanageable shithole but because of the history of rebellion by the Haitian people.

Haitians are forced to immigrate & until this year had special immigration status to the US which Trump just annulled. This post from last year is about immigrants/refugees from Haiti & African countries now on the US southern border unable to enter, despite the special immigration status many of them have.


According to local news, just across the US border in Reynosa, Mexico, immigrant shelters are increasingly serving African & Asian undocumented immigrants. That is true along the entire southern US border from California to Texas & has been since 2011.

Africans from several countries & Asians (mostly Bangladeshis & Indians) have chosen to travel to Brazil because their destination is the US. They each pay thousands of dollars to an organized network of human smugglers for false papers to cross them through 10 countries on foot, boat, & bus to the border of Mexico. That involves traveling in overcrowded fishing boats, trekking through mosquito-infested jungles, dodging armed bandits & immigration authorities, temporary encampments.

Because Mexico has no deportation agreements with some of the African countries of origin, Mexican authorities will issue Africans transit permits to get to the US border. Most, probably those with false papers, do not register for permits & must navigate the treacheries of the 1,450-mile trek on their own.

Mexico is hardly a model of enlightened immigration policy. It functions as the southern flank of US immigration & in 2015 deported more than 165,000 Central Americans. It also has one of the highest immigration detention rates in the world, including of children, & in 2015, detained 190,000 from around the world.

African refugees want to get to the US border because individuals from Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan are given US Temporary Protection Status against deportation for periods from 6 to 18 months, subject to renewal. It doesn’t mean US Homeland Security always honors that amnesty because it is also supposed to be provided to refugees from El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Syria, & Yemen & as of September 2016, it began detaining & then deporting Haitians.

There are now thousands of Africans encamped along the US-Mexico border because the US grants asylum to only 50 Africans a day. That’s why the US Border Patrol reported that it apprehended 6,126 African & Asian refugees trying to cross illegally in 2015. In the first seven months of 2016, nearly 8,000 Africans & Asians had registered with Mexican immigration in Chiapas. Just to process the registered would take US officials over six months when the International Organization for Migration estimated that 20,000 more African refugees were already en route from Brazil to the US.

The US is trying to involve Latin American countries in policing & containing refugee transit to the US & has deployed immigration agents to Mexican immigration facilities on the southern border to impede the traffic from Africa, Asia, & the Middle East.

This photo is African, Asian, Haitian & refugees from other countries waiting to register with Mexican immigration in Tapachula, Chiapas on the southern Mexican border.

Immigration is a human right. Open the borders.

(Photo by Encarni Pindado for the Guardian)