From the Human Rights Coalition:
Earlier this month, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security announced its intent to continue deporting Haitian nationals. The Center for Constitutional Rights reports that the decision has spurred a new series of hunger strikes in Louisiana detention facilities in protest of the policy. Human rights groups have decried the decision, pointing out that in the aftermath of the January 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti, deportation to the country's perilous detention facilities can be equivalent to a death sentence.
An earlier round of deportations following a January hunger strike in a Louisiana facility resulted in the death of 34-year old Wildrick Guerrier while in Haitian custody. Mr. Guerrier, who was suffering from cholera-like symptoms, died after being denied medical care by prison guards who told him, "you were sent here to die."
In an April 1st press release, ICE states that the decision to resume deportations was made to ensure the safety of U.S. communities and would only involve people who posed a "significant threat to the American public." However, the January deportations of 27 Haitian nationals that led to the death of Mr. Gurrier included people with low-level convictions. All of the individuals being detained in Louisiana today have already served their criminal sentences or had such minor convictions they were never sentenced to time in jail.
(this article is excerpted primarily from reporting by the Center for Constitutional Rights)