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Monday, April 22, 2024

4,000 Criminals Escape Haiti’s Prisons Amid U.S. Border Crime Concerns

'They are happy to let America’s open border be the solution to their problem...'

(Luis CornelioHeadline USA) An estimated total of 4,000 incarcerated individuals escaped from two of Haiti’s largest prisons following armed clashes between the national police and armed gangs, according to multiple local media outlets on Sunday.

Haiti’s national police union reported on Sunday evening that armed gangs fired “many shots” intending to dismantle the police force. Subsequent footage from the Haitian Times depicted bodies with gunshot wounds at the prison entrance.

Among those detained in the notorious prison were 17 Colombian nationals accused of assassinating former President Jovenel Moise in 2021. The Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged special protection for these individuals who have been in custody since 2021. 

This security breach followed armed gangs taking control of certain areas in the capital, Port-au-Prince, leading the Department of State to reiterate the evacuation of U.S. citizens from the country.

This news comes amid widespread concerns that countries granted Temporary Protected Status may exploit federal protection to commit crimes in the U.S.. Haiti has a high number of individuals attempting illegal entry into the U.S., with some granted TPS for staying in the U.S. with work visas.

Federal immigration data reveals a significant increase in border encounters with Haitian nationals. In Fiscal Year 2024, Border Patrol encountered 85,740 Haitian nationals, nearly double the 48,727 encountered in FY2021. In FY 2023, border officials encountered 163,781, according to federal data reviewed by Headline USA.

Venezuela is among the countries whose citizens are granted TPS. However, disturbing reports of Venezuelan nationals carrying out high-profile crimes in the U.S. have changed the political discourse for TPS and Venezuela.

For example, 26-year-old Jose Ibarra, a Venezuelan national residing illegally in the U.S., faces murder charges for the brutal killing of nursing student Laken Riley. Ibarra, paroled by the Biden administration in September 2022, was later arrested by the NYPD in September 2023, but ICE did not issue a retainer for his release. 

The gruesome details of the murder prompted Eric Adams, the mayor of New York City, to suggest amending its sanctuary policy to allow local police to report violent criminals to federal immigration authorities. 

Critics point to Ibarra as an example of why TPS may be halted for individuals like him. Some Haitian nationals were granted TPS due to dire safety conditions in the Caribbean country.

Similarly, Venezuela is currently under the violent, socialist regime of Nicolás Maduro, accused of releasing violent criminals to encourage them to come to the U.S.

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