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immigration

Immigration is a major issue among Haitian. It is estimated that over 4 million Haitians are currently living outside of Haiti

Measures in Quebec for those applying for permanent residence in Canada

Haitian Nationals Free to Apply for Permanent Residency in Quebec

Quebec, Canada has received news from the federal government suspension of deportation back to Haiti of its nationals is no longer in effect. Minister of Immigration, Diversity, and Inclusion (MIDI), Kathleen Weil, spoke of the steps to be implemented in Quebec to aid Haitian nationals, who desire to make an application for permanent residence in Canada, predicated on humanitarian principles. The majority of Haitian nationals have chosen Quebec as their home, and it is the wish of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to facilitate the application process. CIC will collaborate with MIDI to give social service organizations, contracted by MIDI, the funding to advocate for Haitian immigrants going through the application process. Haitians, who are eligible to apply for permanent residency, will be given until June 2015 to file their applications.

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Haitians trying to enter the U.S. illegally through Puerto Rico skyrocketed

A huge number of illegal immigrants have been, for a long time, entering the US through the Mexican border. The US immigration agencies have been having a hard time trying to deal with this, and now Haiti citizens have begun swarming into the US through Puerto Rico.

The number of Haitians entering the US through Puerto Rico has been increasing significantly since 2011. Then the number of Haitians that made it to the US via Dominican Republic through to Puerto Rico was 12, and as of last year the number had shot up to 1,760, according to the US Coast Guard statistics.

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Jetta Baptiste, president of Haitian Bahamian community, supports boycott

Daphne Campbell, a Florida politician, saw much support for her recent call to international businesses and tourists to boycott the Bahamas until they have repealed their new, highly controversial law that aims, as she describes it, to discriminate against Haitian children. Her latest such supporter is president of the Haitian Bahamian community Jetta Baptiste, who admitted to being in agreement with the proposed boycott one thousand percent.

While voicing her support for the boycott and the one-week ultimatum issued by the politician, Baptiste also spoke about the frustration of the community which is once again being cruelly handled by the Bahamas, as well as others of Haiti's neighbors. Baptiste argues that Haitians living in the Bahamas are being tugged into the political game of the government of the Bahamas, in which illegal migration is a huge topic. She puts forward that Florida will not long be the only State that will join in the boycott as Campbell, a Democratic Member of the House of Representatives for Florida, has written to the U.S. government about the situation, and she also has the backing of elected Cuban officials who have appealed to Florida's Governor Rick Scott and President Barack Obama.

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The Bahamas Practice Ethnic Cleansing against Haitian Descendents

New Bahamas enforcement policy illegal, immoral, said Fred Smith, (GBHRA)

The Perry Christie Bahamian government's new immigration policy is a barely concealed form of ethnic cleansing according to the Grand Bahamas Human Rights Association (GBHRA). It consists of a non-discriminatory process, in which immigration authorities conduct dragnets in the middle of the night in communities, in which large populations of Haitian descendents live. No effort is made to separate the innocent from the guilty until later, a blatant violation of human rights. GBHRA President Fred Smith charged the cattle-herding policy ". . . is unconstitutional . . . (and) they are breeding 'Haitian hatred', racism, and discrimination."

Immigration Minister Fred Mitchell dodged responsibility for his ministry's hand in the mass round-ups. Politics should play no part in this, nor should any polarization between the government and civil rights organizations exist, he added. The bottom line, he stressed, is the new immigration policy must be enforced to protect the borders.

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Bahamas Human Rights Association (GBHRA), new immigration policy illegal, immoral

Human Rights Abuses Unnecessary to Enforce Immigration Law in the Bahamas

The Grand Bahamas Human Rights Association (GBHRA) has called the government of The Bahamas (GOB) new immigration policy illegal and immoral, formulated ". . . to strike fear into the Haitian-Bahamian population." Immigration officials are going into neighborhoods in the middle of the night where large communities of Haitians live, and indiscriminately hauling them off to detention centers. Only after they have been detained do officials check to see if immigrants are illegal or not. According to GBHRA President Fred Smith such treatment is a blatant transgression of a basic tenet of law: people are innocent until proven guilty.

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Black Immigration Network wants implementation of Haitian Family Reunification

The Black Immigration Network (BIN) is fighting the Obama administration (OA) on its immigration policies. In 2010 a cataclysmic earthquake took 250,000 Haitian lives and caused displacement of many more millions from their homes. Families have been torn asunder, yet to be reunified. BIN has written Obama, pressing for the Department of Homeland Security (DOHS) to create and put into action a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program. "The time to . . . reunite Haitian-Americans with . . . family members is now," the letter said in part.

A secondary issue is deportation of immigrants--387,000 of them--in the last five years. Just weeks after the quake, the OA deported 250-plus immigrants, some of whom were deathly ill. The Florida Center for Investigative Reporting discovered OA went against its policy of finding other ways to avoid deportation under life-threatening and humanitarian emergencies. DOHS has issued 110,000 visas for reunification of families, but people are on a waitlist, extending at least 12 years.

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Carnival Freedom cruise ship rescued raft with 29 refugees from Haiti

On the night of July 6th, Carnival Freedom rescued a sinking raft off the coast of Florida. The raft had 29 refugees from Haiti. The Carnival Freedom cruise was en route back to the home port in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. They were alerted by United States Coast Guard that there was a vessel sinking and there are 29 people on board. The Carnival Freedom has always assisted mariners, and they turned towards the sinking vessel. The United States Coast cutter arrived on the scene and released the Carnival Freedom so that they could proceed to Fort Lauderdale.

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Obama Administration approved Haitian Family Reunification Parole program

Obama With Haitian Flag

Major policy shift announced by the Obama Administration toward Haitian Immigration in the US. On October 17, 2014, which is the day Haiti founding father Jean-Jacques Dessalines was assassinated in Pont Rouge, the Obama administration issued an executive Order approving the Haitian Family Reunification Parole program.

Beginning January 2015, U.S. Department of Homeland Security will implement a Haitian Family Reunification Parole (HFRP) Program to expedite family reunification for eligible Haitian family members. It is expected to cover over 5,000 Haitians currently living in Haiti.

Under this new Haitian Family Reunification Parole program, some people who have been waiting for years in Haiti will be allowed to travel and wait in the US instead for their legal status to be adjusted. While in the US, these people will be allowed to function and work legally.

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Turks and Caicos Islands to Pressure Haiti to stop illegal migration

On July 2nd, Governor Peter Beckingham left for the Bahamas to talk about the illegal migration of Haitians. The governor briefed the media that he was going to meet with the Bahamian Governor General, including other persons, to continue with the talks. These talks, according to the Governor, were initiated by Bahamian Prime Minister Perry Christie while in TCI in April 2014. The talks were to pressure Haitian government to address issue of illegal migration.

The Haitians were trying to escape their country, therefore, the Governor, together with other persons, decided to put more pressure to stop people from migrating to the Turks and Caicos Islands. According to his statement, there are people from Haiti who have embarked on journeys going to these Islands. He said they have noticed for the last four days people from Haiti entering their waters.

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Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves on new Dominican citizenship law

Caribbean Heads of Government from several CARICOM nations gathered for the 35th edition of a four-day meeting in Antigua to address several issues affecting the regional body, established in 1974. Topics to be covered included the future of CARICOM as a sustainable geopolitical body; effects of the economic malaise; and a decision by the Dominican Republic (DR) to strip illegal aliens' off-spring of their citizenship rights.

Interim CARICOM Chairman, Ralph Gonsalves, was vociferous in his defense of approximately 500,000 Haitian descendents, who risk deportation due to being deprived of their identity documents by the DR. He said, ". . . people of Haitian descent . . . look to us (CARICOM) to give voice to . . . denial of their human rights. Don't think . . . they look simply to Haiti." Gonsalves persuaded CARICOM last year to not engage with the DR once its Constitutional Court ruled to terminate Dominican citizenship for any person that had parents, who illegally entered the DR. The Court made the ruling retroactive to 1929.

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