WASHINGTON, D.C. — Desperate conditions at home and deteriorating economic conditions to the south have led thousands of Haitians to seek safety in the U.S.
More than 29,000 Haitians have fled to the U.S. in the past year, and thousands are currently living in a makeshift camp in South Texas as they wait to be formally apprehended and processed by U.S. authorities.
A magnitude 7.2 earthquake and the assassination of Haiti’s president this year have exacerbated already desperate conditions for Haitians, many of whom now see no other option but to seek safety in the U.S.
“This is a humanitarian crisis brought to our doorstep by political instability, natural disaster and a lack of economic opportunities,” said Ali Noorani, President and CEO of the National Immigration Forum. “There is no easy solution.
“Working with state and local partners, first and foremost, the administration needs to make sure that these desperate people are treated humanely. Beyond that, let’s get the personnel and infrastructure to the region to begin the appropriate immigration processes.
“Over the coming days, some will try to weaponize this crisis in order to foment fear and misgivings among the American public. This may lead to further tragedy. Cooler heads must prevail.”