Archive Response

Christopher Alfaro
Professor Kitana Ananda
ENG103
October 27, 2017

Archives Response:

The first document is a report from the City Council of New York that was written not so long ago, in the year 1982. This was written by the Legal Service Division and it discussed the situations these Haitians immigrants were facing at the time. The document discusses the immigration and naturalization of the Haitians that fled their countries due to extreme situations to the United States seeking a safe haven but instead were held in detention centers.

An approximate amount of 2,200 Haitians had left their countries due to Political repression and other extreme cases, and instead of being welcomed they were imprisoned in 11 centers across the country. They were locked up but were not being treated as criminals, meaning they didn’t have the rights they should have as a “felon” (Right to a lawyer, Innocent until proven guilty, etc.). This had occurred to a group of 53 people that was detained at the Brooklyn Navy yard.

The second document is also from the year 1982, and it explained to the American public what exactly was going on behind the scenes and what the U.S Government and the Reagan Administration was doing with the Haitian Refugees and also with the Duvalier Regime. This text puts a blame on the U.S government for what was going on in Haiti and why its people left. Also, a very important fact mentioned was that in just a bit more than a year there were 3000 Haitian refugees in both the U.S and Puerto Rico.

The main focus in both these documents are the Haitian people and their situation. They try to inform and generate a solution to help these people that are kept prisoners and in risk of deportation. I believe that the second document had an intention of aid but also of exposure and it wanted to open the American public’s eyes to cause a reaction to the events. Also, this
association in the second document demands solutions and proper treatment to the people of Haiti. This is an act that may start a movement against the U.S government.

The association demands things such as the release from camps and political asylums for all Haitian refugees, an unconditional amnesty for all undocumented workers, and I believe most importantly they demanded that the U.S stopped supporting the Duvalier dictatorship with economic and military aid. In these documents I learned about a new piece of history. I learned about the situation people went through in Haiti because of their leader, and the treatment they were given when searching for a better life. It does not surprise me that even back then, things like this occur and sometimes the people that are supposed to be defending and standing up for us do so many unconstitutional and corrupt things. Deporting these people is just as good as killing them. Sending them off to a far away and unknown place kills every last bit of hope they had of starting a new life.

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