May 20, 2024

The Department of Defense (DOD) has confirmed that they are anticipating a wave of mass migration from Haiti as the country descends into a state of anarchy. 

Advertisement

During a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Tuesday, Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz pressed DOD official Rebecca Zimmerman about the prospect of a migratory wave from Haiti, an issue about which he said, as a Floridian, he felt “very concerned.” 

“Congressman, we’re doing a number of things to ensure that we’re keeping track of the situation and we’re prepared,” said Zimmerman. “At the moment, we have not yet seen large numbers—what we would characterize as a maritime mass migration.”

“Do you anticipate a mass migration, though?” Gaetz then interjected. 

“We are alert to that possibility,” Zimmerman responded. “I think you’re right that the driving conditions in Haiti could very well press more people. So, we’ve recently approved some additional assistance that we can provide to the Coast Guard.”

Gaetz also asked the view of Army General Laura Richardson, commander of U.S. Southern Command, as to whether it was time to “activate the authorities” in response. 

Advertisement

“I think that we need to be postured appropriately for that,” Richardson said. “I have put in a request for increased capability to do exactly that. And we are ready if we need to deal with a mass migration.”

Meanwhile, The New York Post reported on a memo sent out to border agents in Miami that “pointed out it is unlikely Haitians who take to the sea and enter Florida illegally will be repatriated back to their home country, given its instability.”

“With the breakdown of the government in Haiti, repatriating Haitians may not be happening for the foreseeable future,” the email read. “If this is the case, then the Coast Guard may not be stopping Haitian sail freighter[s].”

The situation in Haiti, which has a population of over 11 million, is now so severe that the U.S. has evacuated all non-essential staff from the embassy in the capital of Port-au-Prince. 


READ MORE: 

Advertisement

NEW: U.S. Military Evacuates Haitian Embassy As Gangs Attack Police Stations


On Tuesday, the country’s Prime Minister Ariel Henry resigned amid the deepening crisis, asking “all Haitians to remain calm and do everything they can for peace and stability to come back as fast as possible.”

According to the United Nations immigration office, at least 15,000 people had been displaced due to the takeover of gang violence across the country’s streets. 

In a statement on Monday, the U.S. Embassy in Haiti announced that it had bolstered security around the building at the request of the State Department.

“At the request of the Department of State, the U.S. military conducted an operation to augment the security of the U.S. Embassy at Port-au-Prince, allow our Embassy mission operations to continue, and enable non-essential personnel to depart,” the statement read. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *