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US mulls using Guantanamo to host Haiti migrants – CNN

People fleeing the violent unrest in on the island could be processed at the notorious military facility, the outlet has reported

The US could use the notorious Guantanamo Bay military facility in Cuba to process migrants fleeing the violence in Haiti, CNN has reported, citing an unnamed American official.  

Washington is bracing for mass migration from the island nation, according to the news broadcaster. Haiti, which is just over 300km from the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay, has seen mounting violence in recent months.

Its capital, Port-au-Prince, has been overrun by armed criminal gangs, leading to the resignation of Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry on Tuesday.

The Guantanamo Bay facility is home to a US military prison for terror suspects that was opened by the Bush administration after the 9/11 attacks in 2001. There have been numerous reports and testimonies of the abuse of prisoners, while Amnesty International has described the camp as “a symbol of torture, rendition and indefinite detention without charge or trial”

The naval base also has a Migrant Operations Center that houses migrants picked up by the Coast Guard in the Caribbean. The facility is not part of the prison.

The administration of President Joe Biden is weighing up plans to extend the capacity of the migrant center in view of a possible migrant wave from Haiti, CNN has reported.

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A group of detainees kneels during an early morning Islamic prayer in their camp at the U.S. military prison for "enemy combatants" on October 28, 2009 in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
Guantanamo prisoners suffering ‘inhuman’ treatment – UN

According to the broadcaster, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is monitoring the situation on the island. “Irregular migration flows” through the Caribbean currently remain low, a DHS spokesperson told CNN. The US returns or repatriates migrants interdicted at sea to the Bahamas, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti, the spokesperson added.

The US has seen a surge in immigration rates, mainly from its southern border. In December, more than 225,000 migrants attempted to cross the frontier from Mexico, the highest monthly total recorded since 2000, CNN noted.

March 14, 2024 at 05:29PM
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