.S. immigration authorities have resumed deportations to Haiti, ending a three-month-plus reprieve of sending Haitians back to their storm-battered country.
''We determined that it was appropriate to resume based on the circumstances in Haiti,'' Nicole Navas, a spokeswoman with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said, declining to comment further.
"The individuals being returned have final orders of removal and the necessary travel documents.''
The move to deport Haitians comes at a time when Haiti is still trying to recover from back-to-back storms that heaped wide scale devastation. The tempests -- two of them full-fledged hurricanes -- left at least 800 people dead, tens of thousands homeless, and caused about $1 billion in damages.
Aside from the clearing of roads, little has improved in Haiti.
''The decision to resume deportations to Haiti shocks the conscience,'' said Randolph McGrorty, executive director of Catholic Legal Services, Archdiocese of Miami. ``Deportations at this time are simply inhumane, sending people to conditions of famine and disease. The change in policy is unwarranted by reports on the ground which confirm that the humanitarian crisis in Haiti continues and worsens.''
McGrorty added: ``It is incomprehensibly counter-productive to the U.S. government's objective of avoiding mass migration, and so cruel and misguided that I cannot explain it by any other way than to condemn the policy as racist.''
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