The number of illegal immigrants from Haiti entering the United States increased more than 600 percent during FY2016. The dramatic increase seems to account for a decision last month by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to resume removals (deportations) of certain Haitian immigrants.
Haitian immigrants illegally entering the United States increased from 795 in FY 2015 to an astounding 4,844 in FY 2016 (year-to-date comparisons), according to a report obtained by Breitbart Texas from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials. 4,316 of these entered the U.S. through the San Diego Sector in southern California. The numbers listed are through August 31 and do not include the year ending October numbers.
“We have seen an uptick in the number of Haitians arriving with no status in the United States,” CBP Public Affairs Officer Jackie Wasiluk said on Friday in response to an inquiry from Breitbart Texas. “While CBP officials have made adjustments to port operations to accommodate this uptick in arriving individuals, CBP officials are used to dynamic changes at San Diego area ports of entry, including San Ysidro, the nation’s busiest border crossing, and are able to flex resources to accommodate those changes.”
Secretary Johnson announced on September 22, the resumption of removals of Haitians who had received an order of removal or who had been convicted of a serious crime. “Yesterday I directed that, effective immediately, enforcement decisions with respect to Haitian nationals should be, consistent standard practice, guided by my memorandum dated November 20, 2014, ‘Policies for the Apprehension, Detention and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants,’” Johnson wrote in the statement. “These policies prioritize the removal of convicted felons, individuals convicted of significant or multiple misdemeanors, and individuals apprehended at or between ports of entry while attempting to unlawfully enter the United States.”
He said that Haitian nationals covered by “Temporary Protected Status” remain unaffected by the change in policy. The removal program halted temporarily following Hurricane Matthew earlier this month, but Johnson said “DHS intends to resume removal flights as soon as possible.”
The startling increase for the San Diego Sector accounts for about 90 percent of the total number of Haitians who were classified by CBP as “Haitian Inadmissibles.” The numbers of Haitian immigrants had been slowly decreasing in recent years from a high in FY 2014 or 1,051 to 887 in all of FY 2015.
Miami had the second largest number of Haitian immigrants, but their numbers actually decreased by about 10 percent to 216 from 236 in YTD comparrisons.
The San Diego number “includes the border crossings at San Ysidro, Otay Mesa, Tecate, Calexico East and West, and Andrade, as well as our airport and seaport activity in the area,” Wasiluk stated. She said most of the Haitians currently entering the U.S. are “simply presenting themselves with no documents.”
The Haitian immigrants processed by the San Diego Sector represents nearly 20 percent of the total number of immigrants reported to be inadmissible. Other immigrants may be determined to be inadmissible because “they may try to use a counterfeit or altered document; they may attempt to hide from officers and enter without inspection (or run or drive past officers to enter without inspection); or they may be an imposter, attempting to use a real document that does not belong to them.” She explained.
Immigrants are considered a priority for enforcement if they have been “convicted of significant or multiple misdemeanors, and individuals apprehended at or between ports of entry while attempting to unlawfully enter the United States,” Secretary Johnson said in his statement noted above.