Immigration is a major issue among Haitian. It is estimated that over 4 million Haitians are currently living outside of Haiti
Once again, we have learned that some Haitian migrants perished at sea or as their body came ashore on the coast of Florida, the Bahamas or some islands near by. Often you hear: " The U.S. Coast Guard says an overloaded sailboat carrying migrants from Haiti has overturned and at least 10, 20 30, 40, 50,.... people have reportedly died.
Why do Haitians continue to risk their lives?
Has the information been published in Haiti, in the regions where those trips are being organized?
Do Haitian really know the risk?
A national organization that focuses on black immigration to the US, which has been in existence for 5 years, will conduct a three-day seminar in Little Haiti, Miami. The seminar's theme will be Black Immigration Network Kinship Assembly: A Gathering for Action.
During the conference, participants will also delve into racial justice, in addition to calling on the black immigrant diaspora to seek unity if it is to advance economically. Black Immigration Network will be the main hosts but will be assisted by various other groups.
The conference will run for three days, starting from May 23 to May 25. It will run during the same month when commemoration of the Haitian Heritage Month will be ending. More than 150 community leaders will take part in the conference.
Four Haitians involved in the illegal immigration network were arrested in Pointe-A-Pitre, Guadeloupe during the third week of March 2014. The four Haitians hauled by the official were Widberley Predestin (26), Jean Louis (33), Ismick Premier (35) and Jean Vil (36). They were sentenced by the Criminal Court of Pointe-à-Pitre (Guadeloupe) with terms varying 3 to 5 years.
The Border Police (PAF or Police de l'Air et des Frontières) has estimated that their network had landed more than 30 immigration landing operation involving 500 to 600 people (mainly Haitians and a few Dominicans) in the past one year. Their investigation suggests that these illegal immigrants have paid between US$ 4000 and US$ 5000 per trip from Hispaniola Island to the Dominican Republic. In addition, they had to pay US$ 200 to US$ 600 as passages between Dominica and South Basse-Terre (Guadeloupe). Thereafter, they used to pay further €50 to €100 before being taken into a house in Petit-Bourg where they could contact their family to bring more money, if needed.
Francois Guillaume II is the new minister for Haitians living abroad (MHAVE). He had a meeting on Friday with Ministry staff. At this meeting he emphasised that everyone within MHAVE should be considered collaborators in a close and mutually respectful working relationship. There would be many challenges, but they would face them together.
The meeting was focused on the Haitian diaspora. Francois Guillaume emphasised the importance of the diaspora pointing out that the first minister of Haiti was one among this group. He stressed that members of the diaspora would collaborate with MHAVE to improve the image of Haiti overseas. He had a plan of action and list of objectives which included launching a campaign to improve Haiti's image abroad as well as carrying out a census of the distribution. Also, to ensure that members of the diaspora were kept informed of MHAVE's activities, representatives of the ministry would set up meetings and forums in every major city with a significant Haitian contingent to achieve this end. An agreement was expected to be signed with the Ministry of Foreign affairs.
Should Haitian migrant children who were issued birth certificates be granted citizenship in DR?
Ex-Dominican Republic (DR) President, Leonel Fernandez, considering another run for the presidency, has taken a moderate approach to the citizenship issue that has made the DR unpopular in the international community. The Constitutional Court decision last September outlaws citizenship for Haitian descendents of illegal immigrants. The DR stipulates both parents must be Dominican for a child to be a legitimate DR citizen. Many Haitian-Dominican residents cannot access their birth certificates, being held hostage by the government.
Leonel Fernandez says the government shouldn't have legitimized the births of Haitian descendents, but now it is too late. He adds, "We should . . . recognize it--the Dominican nationality of all those, who already have birth certificates." His position makes him seem a supporter of Haitians' citizenship rights. But in the streets outside a West Palm Beach economic forum Fernandez attended, Haitian-American protestors see through his guise. They know his moderate view is only for political gain.
To tackle the problem of stopping illegal migration from Haiti to The Bahamas, the Haitian and Bahamian governments met to discuss solutions. Fred Mitchell, U.S. Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (FAI), and his representatives attended the bi-lateral meeting as observers. The dual purpose of the meeting was to reduce numbers of illegal immigrants traveling to The Bahamas and encourage more trade.
One strategy the two governments decided to put into practice is to implement a citizens' awareness program in northern Haiti. It will inform people, if they are discovered engaging in human trafficking activities, they will be arrested and returned to Haiti. To strengthen the two governments' resolve in reducing illegal migration from Haiti to The Bahamas, they are ramping up their military intelligence capacity.
From April 21 to April 25, 2014, if you need a new Haitian passport, you are just out of luck. The Minister of Interior and Territorial Communities will not be issuing any passport.
According to Réginal Delva, the new Minister of Interior and Territorial Communities, the Haitian Government has temporary interrupted the production of Haitian passports.
The decision has been made to respond to new international requirements and the modernization of of passport personalization systems.
There are many places where you can obtain a Haitian passport and it doesn't matter whether you live in Haiti or anywhere in the world. Here are the places where you can go to solve any problem related Haitian Passport, document processing or to legalize your status
The Dominican Republic's (DR) High Court ruling last September, negating the citizenship status of natural-born Haitian descendants has caused an international furor. After months of no response from Haiti, President Martelly finally put pressure on the DR to find a solution to the problem, which potentially could displace nearly a quarter of a million Haitians, who have no papers, forcing the evacuation of Dominica-Haitians back to Haiti.
High-level discussions between Haiti and the DR began a couple of months ago, and two solutions emerged from those talks. First is an agreement between Haiti and the DR, allowing government officials to enter the DR and register undocumented Haitian citizens. National Identification Office Director, Baptiste Saint-Cyr, said the project, estimated at $2.5 million, will identify Haitian immigrants through the verification of citizens, who know their history. Second is a piece of legislation Danilo Medina, DR President, will present to Congress to naturalize Haitian descendants of illegal immigrants, who may be forced out of the country without governmental intercession.
The Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) are having a problem with the migration of Haitians entering their country. To curb and decrease the numbers of Haitian immigrants, TCI Premier Rufus Ewing announced to the news media TCI wants to begin a drone program. They will be partnering with both Britain and Bahamian governments to achieve their objective.
Premier Rufus set forth the steps their government will implement in 2014, to increase TCI's border control and manage the immigration problem. TCI's approach is two-fold: ramping up its reconnaissance and monitoring coastal borders as well as constant flyovers of border areas.
The United States has a history of forbidding foreign boats from entering its territories and reaching its coastline, particularly boats from Haiti and Cuba. Originally, in 1981 the U.S. had an agreement with Haiti which allowed the boarding of a vessel. Those forbidden at sea were interviewed to determine their status as a refugee. Upon discovery of any violations, the vessel was sent back to Haiti after notifying the Haitian government. When the U.S. stopped abiding by this practice, the agreement became terminated in 1994. However, the United States has continued to forbid entrance of Haitian vessels.
Such levels of security are enforced to manage drug trafficking, smuggling, weapons transport, as well as illegal entry. The agreement is strong that the U.S. fully exercised its authority.
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