Franco-Haitian Associations condemn Guadeloupe’s plans to deport Haitian nationals

Francis Akhalbey December 08, 2020
Police with protesters who have been arrested in Guadeloupe in 2009. Photo: Reuters

Several Franco-Haitian associations on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe have condemned the government’s plans to deport 30 Haitian nationals in what authorities claim is an agreement with Haitian officials, Caribbean National Weekly reported.

In a statement on Friday, the organizations said the Haitian nationals are an “incomprehensible group” and they are “parents” of French children who have been residing in the French overseas region for many years. They also said the Guadeloupean authorities were not open to allowing the soon-to-be deportees to remain on the island.

“It justifies this operation to return Haitian nationals to their country of origin, as part of the fight against irregular immigration,” the statement said.

Government officials, however, said the deportation was being carried out under the control of “the administrative judge and the judge of freedoms and detention,” adding that the “operation is being carried out with the agreement of the Haitian authorities.”

A part of France’s départements d’outre-mer (DOMs), several Haitian nationals migrate to Guadeloupe due to the country’s decent living standards as a result of subsidies they receive from Paris, a report by Minority Rights Group international stated.

The report stated that there are about 15,000 Haitian migrants – mostly undocumented – in Guadeloupe. The migrants mostly provide cheap labor working as domestic servants and gardeners and also on construction projects and small-scale business. They also work on banana plantations – which is a thriving industry in the Caribbean country.

According to the report, around 1,000 undocumented migrants – mostly Haitians – are deported from the island nation as well as Dominica annually.

“Official French policy is to intercept and deport illegal migrants. There are regular instances of boatloads of Haitians and others being arrested and deported by coastguard and migration officials,” the report stated.

The poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti has struggled to overcome the problems of poverty and inequality for about half a century. The African diaspora’s oldest country has also been the unfortunate victim of both natural and Western-ensured tragedies. All of these have worked up a national psyche of survival and very little patience for governmental inadequacies.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: December 8, 2020


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