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Stop deportations of Haitians, US bishops urge

Catholic World News - February 08, 2011

Coadjutor Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles and Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson are urging the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to halt the deportations of Haitians to their homeland.

“DHS has stated that it intends to deport 700 Haitians by the end of the year,” the bishops write. “Yet, a cholera outbreak has killed over 3,600 Haitians and infected more than 400,000. Reconstruction continues at a slow pace, with hundreds of thousands still living in tent cities. And, the ongoing dispute over the November 28, 2010 presidential elections has exacted a significant toll not only on the political apparatus of the country but also on the Haitian psyche, resulting in violent protests. To compound these issues, Haiti’s jails, in which the Haitian government routinely holds deportees and which are notorious for the inhumane treatment of detainees, are now rife with cholera.”

“Now is not the time to resume deportations to Haiti, nor would it be morally or politically appropriate to do so in the foreseeable future.”

Archbishop Gomez serves as chairman of the US bishops’ committee on migration; Bishop Kicanas is chairman of Catholic Relief Services.

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