Featured Article: “Thousands of Haitians Allowed to Stay in U.S. as Texas Camp Clears Out”
Over the past several weeks, over 9,000 migrants, mostly from Haiti, have been camping out at the U.S. and Mexico border in hopes of entering the United States. Last week, after the release of images and video of U.S. Border Patrol agents on horseback grabbing and chasing down Haitian migrants, the U.S. began deporting Haitian individuals and families. They are returning to a country that is still reeling from a series of crises, including the assassination of its president in July, an earthquake in August and political infighting and food scarcity.
In this lesson, you will learn about the continuing journey of those trying to migrate. Then, you will engage in a discussion about immigration policy.
Part I. History of Haiti
What do you know about the history of Haiti? Have you learned anything about the Haitian Revolution? The role of U.S. occupation and interventions in the country? The multiple devastating earthquakes? The recent assassination of its president?
Read this brief history of Haiti to learn more about the country. It begins:
Haiti has been thwarted by outside interests from its very foundation as a country.
For decades, European powers, and later the United States, refused to recognize it as an independent republic.
The Caribbean nation became the world’s first Black-led republic when it declared its independence from France on New Year’s Day 1804. That day, Saint-Domingue, once France’s richest colony, known as the “Pearl of the Antilles,” became Haiti.
It was a land long coveted for its riches of sugar, coffee and cotton, brought to market by enslaved people. Its declaration of independence meant that, for the first time, a brutally enslaved people had wrenched their freedom from colonial masters. But it came only after decades of bloody war.
You can also watch this six-minute video, produced by AJ+, part of the Al Jazeera Media Network, that focuses on the important role that both France and the United States have played in contributing to Haiti’s struggles. You can take notes by writing down three things you learn and two questions you still have.