The Venezuelans left in limbo by new US immigration plan
On the night of 18 February, Caracas, Venezuela held a general strike to protest a new U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) plan which would have indefinitely detained Haitians, Cubans and others in the United States, indefinitely without judicial review.
Crowds poured into the streets to express their anger over the U.S. immigration plan, which would have created a situation identical to that in the 1930s and 1940s when U.S. immigration officials were caught between a rock and a hard place. The U.S. government had no choice but to take the path which would allow them to deport the Haitians while not causing chaos and a humanitarian crisis in their homeland.
The deportees were being detained in what would have been the world’s first “detention camp,” a federal penitentiary in the Arizona desert, where they would have been subjected to an intense, two-week hunger strike. They would have been held without judicial review, without the right to counsel, without a right of habeas corpus.
The demonstration became a catalyst for the Haitian revolution, making the opposition to U.S. President Donald Trump a powerful rallying cry for the people of Haiti. The U.S. government responded to the outrage of the people. It announced that it would hold a hearing to decide whether to extend the Haitians’ current detention and deportation order.
On 16 March, the Trump administration rejected the Haitians’ petition to change the detention conditions. The Haitians were allowed to return to Haiti, but were not allowed to remain in the U.S. as long as they were in detention. They were eventually deported back to their home country.
How did this development come to be — a situation that will now cause many migrants in Haiti to be left in limbo?
Who are these migrants? What is the