47 Stranded Americans Rescued from Haiti But Immigration Questions Still Remain

47 Stranded Americans Rescued from Haiti But Immigration Questions Still Remain

After 47 Americans were rescued from Haiti, Republican Lawmakers continue to raise questions on future immigration policies

Liv Caputo
Liv Caputo
March 18, 2024

MIAMI, FL—47 Americans trapped in the perilous Caribbean isle of Haiti returned to the United States last night, though fears of other stuck citizens, gang violence, and surges in immigration plague discussions on how to address the Haiti situation.

On February 29, violence broke out in Haiti. Gangs began to target airports and shipping ports before leading a massive prison break of Haiti's two largest detention facilities. 4,000 inmates escaped, including notorious gang leaders, murderers, and kidnappers.

A few days later, U.S. airlines responded with the suspension and cancellation of flights to Haiti, marooning all Americans visiting the country—until last night, when a charter flight arranged by the State Department flew 47 stranded Americans into Miami—some of whom had been stuck in Haiti for nearly 3 weeks.

“It feels good to be home,” said 46-year-old Orlando resident Abson Louis, the Miami Herald reported.

“It has been real stressful. It’s devastating over there,” he said. “We’re grateful the current administration is doing something about people getting left behind, American citizens, Haitian citizens, that are left behind. Hopefully, things will get better.”

Not all are supportive of the U.S. Government's response to the Haiti situation. Republican Rep. Cory Mills criticized what he saw as the State Department's lack of action, claiming they had tried to "dissuade" him from undertaking a rescue of stranded Americans.

GOP Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott raised similar concerns, demanding to know President Biden's plan to prevent mass migration into the U.S., citing the 8 million immigrants who have entered the country's southern border under Biden.

At the state level, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis had the Florida Division of Emergency Management create an online form for stranded Americans to provide their information, in hopes of securing the safety of U.S. citizens trapped abroad.

He is not, however, extending the same leniency for non-American Haitians, sending 250 law enforcement officers, Guardsmen, and soldiers to South Florida and the keys in preparation for a potential refugee surge. He said that a few weeks ago, Florida Fish and Wildlife stopped a vessel off of Central Florida containing 25 Haitian refugees, drugs, guns, and night vision gear.

In a timely occurrence, the Florida Governor on Friday signed three anti-illegal immigrant bills into law, cracking down on illegals potentially flying under the radar in Florida

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Liv Caputo

Liv Caputo

Livia Caputo is a senior at Florida State University, working on a major in Criminology, and a triple minor in Psychology, Communications, and German. She has been working on a journalism career for the past year, and hopes to become a successful reporter after graduation. Her work has been cited in Fox News, the New York Post, and the Daily Mail

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