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Local community activists react to Haiti crisis

Haitians Del Rio, Texas Border
Posted at 6:32 PM, Sep 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-23 18:32:28-04

PALM BEACH, Fla. -- — Frustration continues to mount within the local Haitian community regarding the border humanitarian crisis.

“It is un-American to treat women, children and people who are in distress in the way that they are being treated,” said Salusa Basquin.

Basquin is Haitian and a community activist. He said the reason runs deep on why so many Haitians have arrived at the border.

“Other people who are not Haitians can easily feel ‘hey, why not send them back home.’ One, you have to look at the earthquake. Two, you have to look at the hurricane, and three you have to look at the assassination of a president. Four, you have to look at the kidnappings. People are feeling safe, they’re not feeling comfortable. They’re not feeling at home.”

Many of the migrants fled Haiti for South America after the devastating 2010 earthquake. They began making their way north after jobs dried up due to the pandemic.

In Del Rio, Texas, more than 1,400 people have been deported on flights to Haiti since Sunday.

The Department of Homeland Security said some Haitian migrants are being placed in ICE detention facilities or released into the U.S. with notices to appear at an immigration office within 60 days.

“What affects us in Del Rio, Texas, affects us in Palm Beach,” said Byrnes Guillaume.

Guillaume who is also Haitian and an attorney said he’d like to see an end of the deportations, while raising their voices locally.

“We are one voice and one accord. Send it to the Biden administration, send it to the world, that inhumane treatment is unacceptable and that the proper relief should be granted to those who qualify,” said Guillaume.

Basquin echoed the same sentiments.

“Our elected officials can tell that this is wrong. It is time for them to weigh in their voices and say this is wrong, and as American citizens, as American leaders, we need to step up to the plate and do right with the Haitian people.”

Meantime a rally will be held on Saturday in downtown West Palm Beach. Details can be found in the flyer below.

Haitian rally downtown West Palm Beach
A rally will be held on Saturday in downtown West Palm Beach to call for an end to the inhumane treatment of Haitian refugees at Del Rio, Texas border.