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Common immigration terms used in the Haitian crisis, explained

Haiti Migrants
Haitian migrants cross the Rio Grande river into Ciudad Acuna from Del Rio, TX, on Sept. 20, 2021. Omar Ornelas/El Paso Times

BY LARISA KARR

New York, Sep. 24, 2021 — Terms like refugee, asylee and migrant are often used interchangeably. In light of the crisis on the border in Del Rio, Texas, The Haitian Times has compiled a list of terms to help clarify these frequently misused terms.

  1. Asylum seeker: A person who has arrived in a new country for the same reasons as a refugee, but hasn’t been granted refugee status yet. Asylum rules differ by country, but generally many asylum seekers, particularly if they are part of a large group, do not have their requests processed. 

Asylum seekers from countries like Iran and Syria recently traveled to start new lives in the Eastern European country, Bosnia and Herzegovina. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 07/30/2021. 

  1. Deportation: In the U.S., an individual is deported when they are considered to “have violated an immigration law,” according to USA.gov. Grounds for deportation range from lack of travel documents to committing a crime to being considered a public safety threat, among other reasons. 

This week, scores of Haitian migrants hastily attempted to re-board planes that deported them from the U.S. to Toussaint Louverture airport. BBC, 09/22/2021.  

To view the full story, please subscribe to The Haitian Times. You can choose a $60 Annual Subscription or a $5 Weekly Pass.

When you join The Haitian Times family, you’ll get unlimited digital access to high-quality journalism about Haiti and Haitians you won’t get anywhere else. We’ve been at this for 20 years and pride ourselves on representing you, our diaspora experience and a holistic view of Haiti that larger media doesn’t show you. 

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