Haitian Mother And Her Husband Crossed 11 Countries To Get To The US — Now She Fears He Has Been Deported

Photo: YouTube
Haitian Asylum Seekers Crossing Rio Grande

The logic of deporting a human being to a place so dangerous that they voluntarily left everything behind to seek refuge in a foreign country are messy and Batania Dominique can attest to this fact.

Her long journey from crisis-striken Haiti to the US is just beginning as she battles our cruel immigration system at the Texas border.

The Haitian-born woman is fearful that her husband has been deported from the US without her knowledge.

In the case of Dominique, her husband was summoned by U.S. Border Patrol to board a bus last week without her. The bus then drove off to an unknown destination.

She has not heard from him since and a text asking in Haitian Creole "Love, how are you?" received no reply.

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The two fled Haiti a year ago, leaving a coastal town that never quite recovered from the 2010 earthquake. “We have nothing in Haiti,” Dominique says.

The couple's son went to live with Dominique's brother in the Dominican Republic, their daughter had remained in Haiti to study medicine until money ran out.

Dominique and her husband travelled through 11 countries to get to the US.

After attempting to make a life in Chile but struggling to find work, they sold land in Haiti to fund a lengthy trip that would eventually bring them to a camp next to the Rio Grande river in Texas to await U.S. immigration processing.

That camp is now filled with as many as 14,000 migrants in recent days, most of them from Haiti. 

Between September 19 and September 21, U.S. authorities took 4,000 migrants from the Del Rio camp to detention for processing and sent at least several hundred back to Haiti on flights.

Now Dominique fears that her husband, Ener Montimar might have been deported to Haiti. Alone.

Neither U.S. Border Patrol nor Haitian officials have been able to confirm the location of Montimar and Dominique’s calls and messages to him are going unanswered.

As for what’s next for Dominique, hopefully Montimar turns up soon and hopefully he hasn’t been deported.

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As needlessly tragic as this situation is, Dominique’s story is certainly not exceptional. Thousands have been deported to Haiti in the past few weeks, not all of them necessarily even Haitian. As terrible as Dominique and Montimar’s situation is, it begs more questions.

How many more people are in an opaque bureaucratic deportation limbo like Dominique and Montimar?

How many more stories are there like Batania Dominique’s?

If this is what we are seeing, then what’s happening behind closed doors?

Biden has a lot to answer for in the Haitian migrant crisis. 

We are all too familiar with horror stories from the border that came during the reign of the Trump administration given its overtly anti-immigrant stances. When Joe Biden won the 2020 election, many were under the impression that his administration would improve the lives of immigrants and asylum seekers. Biden himself had been critical of Trump’s handling of immigration on more than one occasion.

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It seems like Biden might have just picked up right where Trump left off.

U.S. Border Patrol has deported nearly 2000 people to Haiti in the last week alone. Haitian asylum seekers are being herded into a camp in Texas and deported en masse. No one expects the expulsions to stop anytime soon.

Unbelievable scenes seem to play out on a regular basis at the Mexico-United States border. Just last week a video surfaced showing Border Patrol agents threatening Haitian migrants crossing the Rio Grande river with whips from horseback. As terrible this incident is, seeing it begs the question, “If this is what we are seeing, then what’s happening behind closed doors?”

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Dan O'Reilly is a writer who covers news, politics and social justice.