Statement from Dr. Beatriz Padilla, Director of ISLAC
Please see below an important message from our colleague, the Director of ISLAC (Institute for the Study of Latin America and the Caribbean), Dr. Beatriz Padilla, on the situation facing Haiti and Haitians.
The members of the Department of History's Diversity Committee would like to express
their support of Dr. Padilla’s message, and our solidarity with the people of Haiti amid
the struggles they face in their country and the cruel and inhumane treatment many
of them have encountered in the countries in which they seek refuge, including the
I am sharing with you some thoughts as Director of ISLAC.
In January 2010, an earthquake shook Haiti. Haiti had still no recovered from such catastrophic event, when in mid-August 2021 another earthquake shook the country again.
ne of the many consequences of the 2010 earthquake was that thousands of Haitians left their native land, in a journey throughout Latin America. At that time, Brazil needed labor to build the infrastructure for the Soccer World Cup and the Olympic Games, so it offered humanitarian visas to Haitians, who traveled by bus, foot or plane to the promised land. While many found work during the years of growth, once the World Cup and the Olympics were over, they became dispensable, so many of them continue they journey of migration to other Latin American countries. Likewise, Chile attracted many Haitians with job offers, but in 2018, the country changed its migration policies, forcing many to leave. However, what was common for Haitians in Brazil, Chile and other Latin American countries where they passed was racism and discrimination.
As the attractiveness of Brazil and Chile wore out, many Haitians began a new journey, from South America to the US-Mexican border. Many Haitians requested asylum in Mexico and thousands have been waiting in Mexico to cross the border to join family members living in the US. Haitians started arriving to Mexico as early as 2016; it has not been out of the blue, yet .
In May, the Biden administration announced that it would grant Temporary Protection Status to Haitians already in the US, however such measures, many times, tend to be misinterpreted. It is in this context that many Haitians crossed the border in Texas, and that border patrol officers, in horses and holding whips, tried to stop them. The images are inhumane and the actions a violation of human rights. In addition, many Haitians are being deported to their country of origin, which has no conditions to receive them, as people are still living the repercussions of the 2021 earthquake. We cannot forget that Haiti is the poorest country in Latin America and the Caribbean, so if there is something that Haiti and Haitians need today is support and aid.
I feel that as an antiracist migration scholar, it is my duty to inform the ISLAC community about these events. People requesting asylum must be heard and protected, there are international laws and treaties that must be respected, racism should not prevail.
Florida is home to the largest Haitian community in the United States, my solidarity goes to them.
Beatriz Padilla, Ph.D.
Director ISLAC, Institute for the Study of Latin America and the Caribbean
Department of Sociology
Co-Chair International Migration Section, Latin American Studies Association
Those of you who would like more information about this situation should also read the following articles:
statement on violence against asian, asian american, and pacific islander communities
The CAS Diversity and Inclusion Committee has adopted a statement condemning violence and hate against Asian and Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. In light of the recent series of attacks against these communities, and especially women, we adhere to their call to make our stance of support clear. Our statement is as follows:
The CAS Diversity Committee stands in solidarity and support with the USF Asian and Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, as the country deals with the horrifying and increasing number of violent attacks and murders of people, and especially women, of Asian heritage. There is a long history in the United States of racial discrimination against Asian and AAPI communities, including but not limited to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the internment camps of Japanese and Japanese Americans during World War II, each with corresponding acts of hate and violence. Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus, attacks against these groups have increased on the premise of racist, biased, and unfounded allegations made by political leaders, media, and social media outlets. We oppose such dangerous rhetoric and subsequent acts of hate and violence. We are committed to aiding in making our College and our University more inclusive, welcoming, kind, and equitable spaces for all. The Asian and AAPI communities at USF have a fully committed ally in each member of the CAS Diversity Committee.
Statement from Dr. Adriana Novoa
In June 2020, Dr. Adriana Novoa sent this letter to the Diversity Committee of the College of Arts and Sciences at USF. It includes recommendations to address systemic racism.