Haiti prime minister warns inequality will cause migration to continue

Haiti prime minister warns inequality will cause migration to continue
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Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry warned the international community Saturday that global migration will continue as long as there is inequality. 

In a video address to the United Nations General Assembly, Henry, who took office in July shortly after Haitian President Jovenel Moïse’s assassination, argued that “human beings, fathers and mothers who have children, are always going to flee poverty and conflict,” according to The Associated Press

“We do not wish to challenge the right of a sovereign state to control the entry borders into its territory, or to send back to the country of origin those who enter a country illegally,” he said, but noted that world leaders should expect overwhelming levels of migration to persist. 

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“Migration will continue as long as the planet has both wealthy areas, whilst most of the world’s population lives in poverty, even extreme poverty, without any prospects of a better life,” he argued, the AP reported. 

The prime minister's comments come following an effort by the Biden administration to remove thousands of Haitian migrants from the southern U.S. border. 

President BidenJoe BidenGrant Woods, longtime friend of McCain and former Arizona AG, dies at 67 Sanders on Medicare expansion in spending package: 'Its not coming out' Glasgow summit raises stakes for Biden deal MORE has faced backlash for the handling of the situation, as the country of Haiti and its people were recently hit with several crises that have caused uncertainty and turmoil. 

While Henry did not specifically mention the U.S. or offer specific criticism toward the administration’s policies, he said that recent images and videos showing U.S. border patrol agents on horseback chasing down migrants “shocked many people.” 

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro MayorkasAlejandro MayorkasTop officials turn over Twitter accounts to 'share the mic' with Black cybersecurity experts Federal officers detail abuse described by asylum seekers Senate Republicans raise concerns about TSA cyber directives for rail, aviation MORE told reporters Friday that the U.S. had deported about 2,000 Haitians who had been gathered under a bridge in the Texas border town of Del Rio. 

The migrants were expelled under Title 42, a policy Biden has continued from the Trump administration in which migrants may be immediately removed from the country during the pandemic without providing them the opportunity to claim asylum. 

Members of Biden’s own party condemned the ramped up repatriation flights to Haiti, the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, citing the ongoing recovery from last month’s massive earthquake and the political instability in the wake of the president’s assassination. 

Mayorkas defended the administration's policies Friday, arguing that the deportations were being carried out due to “a public health need.” 

The U.S. special envoy to Haiti, Daniel Foote, resigned in protest this week due to the administration’s handling of Haitian migrants. He also noted in his resignation letter that he took issue with the U.S. support for Henry, who faces allegations on possible ties to the president’s assassination. 

The secretary general for Haiti’s Council of Ministers announced last week that he was stepping down after Haiti’s now former chief prosecutor asked a judge to file charges against Henry in connection with the assassination. 

The concerns stemmed from phone calls made to Henry shortly after the assassination by a suspect connected to the killing. 

Henry, who has denied the allegations, fired the Haitian prosecutor and justice minister last week, according to the AP.