US should halt deportations to Haiti: Report

AFP| Last Updated: Feb 20, 2015, 01:13 AM IST

The United States, for human rights reasons, should halt deportations to Haiti, which still is struggling to recover from the 2010 earthquake that leveled the capital and claimed thousands of lives, a new report said on Thursday.

The report, written by experts from the University of Miami and the University of Chicago, said US authorities sent some 1,500 people back to Haiti last year, a deportation policy that "violates the fundamental human rights of Haitian nationals and their family members."

Repatriations of Haitian citizens take place "without due consideration of the deportees` individual circumstances, and the humanitarian crisis in Haiti" which remains acute, a half-decade after the catastrophic earthquake, it said.

The 7.0 quake killed as many as 300,000 people in Haiti, the Western Hemisphere`s most impoverished nation.

Geoffrey Louden, a professor at University of Miami`s School of Law, noted that of 600,000 Haitians who live -- legally and illegally -- in the United States, a good number scarcely have any knowledge of their homeland, making it particularly cruel to send them back there.

Many "are long time lawful permanent residents with deep family ties in the US, who find themselves strangers in a strange land upon their return to a country they hardly know," Louden said.