ICE Data Shows One in Two Haitians Detained Have Not Been Convicted of Crimes

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Despite the Obama administration’s policy to prioritize dangerous criminals for post-earthquake deportations to Haiti, data obtained by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting shows that nearly one in two Haitians detained by the U.S. government have not been convicted of crimes in the United States.

Read the full post as it appeared at FCIR. This is a follow-up story to an original, November 2011 investigation into U.S. deportations to Haiti.

A flight carrying deportees from a Louisiana detention center arrives at Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince on Sep. 13, 2011. (Photo by Jacob Kushner/FCIR.)

 

 

 

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Despite the Obama administration’s policy to prioritize dangerous criminals for post-earthquake deportations to Haiti, data obtained by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting shows that nearly one in two Haitians detained by the U.S. government have not been convicted of crimes in the United States.

Of a sample of 260 illegal immigrants returned to Haiti following the January 2010 earthquake, 114 — or 44 percent — did not have criminal convictions, according to the government data FCIR obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

What’s more, 39 Haitians who were still in the custody of the U.S. Agency for Immigration and Customs Enforcement as of January 23 did not have criminal convictions, suggesting ICE continues to process non-criminal immigrants.

Immigration officials say they’re not deporting non-criminal immigrants to Haiti. But many who do not have criminal convictions continue to be returned to Haiti by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol or opt to return “voluntarily” to avoid other repercussions.

Meanwhile, ICE has forcibly deported 514 immigrants to Haiti on 13 flights since it resumed deportations in January 2011 — less than one year after Haiti was ravaged by an earthquake and a subsequent cholera epidemic that is believed to have taken the life of at least one deportee.

Click HERE to read this full post as it appeared at FCIR. This is a follow-up story to an original, November 2011 investigation into U.S. deportations to Haiti.