Guyana Guardian

Haitians cautioned against using the Guyana to Mexico cross-country corridor to come to the US

A group of Haitian men walking from Mexico towards the US border in hope of being allowed into the United States via Barack Obama’s humanitarian visa policy, which the United States has since scrapped from the 21 September 2016. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)A group of Haitian men walking from Mexico towards the US border in hope of being allowed into the United States via Barack Obama’s humanitarian visa policy, which the United States has since scrapped from the 21 September 2016. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Mexicali; – Hundreds of Haitians who usually flies or ship-smuggle their way into Guyana, in order to get across the border to Brazil en route to the US-Mexican border are being warned to desist from doing so, as the United States would no longer be accepting them.

This is as a result of the now unusually heavy influx of Haitians seeking to find their way into the United States, and the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to effect a policy change a few short weeks ago.

Under a previously open humanitarian directive by President Barack Obama, Haitians who turns up at the US-Mexican border were automatically allowed to enter the United States under a special humanitarian parole visa, because Obama had initially refused to return them to the seemingly never-ending economic hardships and political troubles that are facing their country.

Ever since President Obama had allowed this policy, thousands of Haitians have traveled to mainland South America via Guyana, from where they will usually cross illegally into Brazil, before making a long river journey into Colombia, and then shuttle their way through the Central American strip into Mexico.
The ten weeks journey would often bring them safely to the Mexican border city of Mexicali, which straddles along the border with the United States, and from where US officials will generally grant entry to almost every fleeing Haitian that came along.

But with less than a hundred days remaining in office, the Obama administration has decided to bring the humanitarian parole visa policy for Haitians to an end, which has now left dozens of would-be Haitian immigrants stranded on the border, while dooming the faith of more than a hundred more that are more than likely on their way.

And since most of them are not intent on settling in trouble prone Mexico, sympathizers are fearful that a humanitarian crisis can be in the making, and which can run in a reverse order from Mexicali right back to Guyana where their journey usually starts.

Many would have already been financially exhausted, and may more than likely be traveling with shell tickets that cannot return them to Haiti, or would not be able to pay a smuggling fish trawler to take them back from Guyana’s Essequibo Coast to Port-a-Prince.

In view of this, it is suggested that Guyana may need to caution legally visiting Haitians against making the Mexico journey if they secretly plans to do so, or intercept and offer humanitarian assistance to those who may be caught while passing through the country illegally via the Essequibo or any other unauthorized ports.

Efforts by the Guyana Guardian to solicit a comment from the Department on Homeland Security on whether they are in communication with Guyana or Brazil on the effects of this recent US policy change has so far proved futile.
On the other hand, contacted officials from Guyana’s Immigration Department, and the Ministry of Public Security doesn’t seem to even have a clue that all along, Guyana was being used an in transit point for hundreds of Haitians going on to the United States.

Hence, they were at a loss on how to comment on the issue.

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