NEWS AMERICAS, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. July 22, 2022: A U.S. immigrant advocacy organization wants US state and federal officials to demand freedom for Haitian immigrants who have been jailed after being deported back to their homeland.
Movimiento Cosecha, an immigrant advocacy group, in an alert to their members, says at least 20 Haitain deportees have been jailed in Haiti upon arrival in the past six months, while police officials demand thousands of dollars from their family members in the US, NorthJersey.com reports.
The deportees include Patrick Julney, a New Jersey man who was deported June 7th and imprisoned in the National Penitentiary in Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital, on the same day. A Philadelphia family said their relative, Bergson Morin, who was deported in February, is also being held in the same prison.
The National Penitentiary in Port-au-Prince faces severe overcrowding, poor sanitation and lack of food and water. They have not been charged, nor seen a judge since their arrest and imprisonment.
“[Immigration and Customs Enforcement] deported Patrick and numerous others straight into indefinite detention in Haiti. Please help demand their immediate release!” states Movimiento Cosecha. “The detentions are illegal under Haitian and international law. The conditions at the jail are inhumane and life-threatening.”
Activists are calling for action from U.S. Sens. Cory Booker and Robert Menendez — both of whom represent New Jersey and sit on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee — and from officials at Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Department of Homeland Security and the Haitian Embassy.
Spokespeople for Booker and Menendez — who chairs the Foreign Relations Committee — did not respond to requests for comment about Julney’s case, the detention of other deportees or reports of “extortion” from American families.
Haitian and U.S. agencies also did not respond to requests for comments.