Report: White House Planning for Haiti Migrant Exodus

Sources reportedly told NBC News that the White House National Security Council (NSC) is preparing for a potential mass exodus from Haiti by considering a third country or an expanded facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to host migrants.

Report: White House Planning for Haiti Migrant Exodus
Image credit: Jannik / Unsplash

Facts

  • Sources reportedly told NBC News that the White House National Security Council (NSC) is preparing for a potential mass exodus from Haiti by considering a third country or an expanded facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to host migrants.
  • The NSC has reportedly held meetings with the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) to determine how many migrants a third country, or so-called "lily pad,” could be expected to accept before the Guantanamo facility, which is separate from the prison for terrorist suspects, would be put to use.
  • The US has operated a Migrant Operations Center in Guantanamo for 30 years to hold migrants picked up at sea. The proposed plan would double the facility’s bed capacity to 400.
  • Haitian migration has slowed since late September, when gangs formed a blockade of the country’s fuel, leaving many who want to leave by power boats stranded. The White House expects that there will be a surge in migration once the fuel is no longer blocked.
  • The NSC wouldn’t fully confirm NBC’s report but said in a statement: “The United States remains committed to supporting the people of Haiti. We recently delivered Haitian government-purchased security equipment, including tactical and armored vehicles and supplies, that will assist the Haitian National Police in their fight against criminal actors inciting violence.”

Sources: NBC, and New York Post.

Narratives

  • Republican narrative, as provided by Daily Mail. The promise of Democrats opening the border — and the impression that Democrats are already letting immigrants pour into the US — are to blame for the immigration crisis from Haiti and other countries. Republicans are tougher on immigration, and only stricter policies will prevent more immigration problems, like what to do with the legions wishing to enter the US and how much to spend for them to be held.
  • Democratic narrative, as provided by Democracy Now. Haiti is a country in crisis, and things are getting worse. Not only should the US do all it can to take in as many refugees as possible, but the Temporary Protected Status for those already there should be extended beyond its expiration in February so that they can support themselves and their communities. The Biden admin. is correct to be contingency planning for a humanitarian crisis.