Sunday, January 31, 2010

Americans caught taking children out of Haiti


Americans caught taking children out of Haiti
Posted Sun Jan 31, 2010 12:41pm AEDT

Haitian police have arrested 10 United States citizens caught trying to take 33 children out of the earthquake-stricken country in a suspected illicit adoption scheme, authorities say.

Authorities fear traffickers could try to exploit the chaos and turmoil following Haiti's January 12 earthquake quake to engage in illegal adoptions.

But one of the suspects, who says she is leader of an Idaho-based charity called New Life Children's Refuge (NCLR), denies they have done anything wrong.

The five men and five women are in custody in the capital Port-au-Prince after their arrests on Friday night.

They were detained at Malpasse, Haiti's main border crossing with the Dominican Republic, after Haitian police conducted a routine search of their vehicle.

Authorities said the Americans had no documents to prove they had cleared the adoption of the 33 children - aged 2 months to 12 years - and no papers showing the children were made orphans by the quake.

Yves Cristalin, Haiti's social affairs minister, says the incident is "totally illegal".

"No children can leave Haiti without proper authorisation and these people did not have that authorisation," he said.

But Laura Sillsby from the Idaho group NCLR says the group has done nothing wrong.

"We had permission from the Dominican Republic Government to bring the children to an orphanage that we have there," she said.

Now, if anyone knows about the history between the Dominican Republic and Haiti, this should have been the first red flag for you.
The stories are legendary about how the Dominicans try and prevent the people from Haiti from crossing over their border; so, does it seem plausible to you that they would be opening their arms to orphans from Haiti?

Doesn't smell right.

There were more than a few of us putting up flags at seeing all these folks grabbing for these supposedly orphaned children from Haiti. We thought they were moving way too fast; that there hadn't been a serious attempt to determine if they were TRULY orphans, with no family. The calls went up from several corners about slowing down this process. Maybe it's because I've watched too many L&O:SVU episodes. But, somethings in your GUT just look wrong when you see them; you don't exactly have the ' evidence', but you can feel it in your bones that something's ' not quite right' in this situation.

These arrests confirm everything I and others have been feeling in our guts. As others have pointed out, these folks don't even have this supposed proposed orphanage/charity work -UP ON A CHURCH WEBSITE! WHO provided the money for them to go down there? WHERE is the money coming from to transport these children? That should also make you think twice about it. [Edited] Something is wrong here, and not only should the government of Haiti prosecute to the fullest extent of the law - the UNITED STATES JUSTICE DEPARTMENT needs to be all up in this from THIS country's end.

Found this at W.E.E. See You: Here it is - they had a plan and here it is.

More information: Haiti Orphan Appeal: "I am no orphan" says 8 year old transportee

Check out this thread over at W.E.E. See You - folks have been doing more investigating. These folks are SUSPECT.


RainaHavock said...

I knew something was up with this story. SMH

Brian said...

There is a lot of "jumping the gun" in this case.

I will have to disagree with the trafficking accusation. Actually...the Haitian authorities aren't really making that claim in this case (the media is doing so for ratings). What this case is about is removing these children from the Country without proper documentation. THAT is the issue in this case.

I was planning to do a post on this in a few days...looking at the situation from a broader/different angle. I was going to use this as one of my two or three examples of how there has been some sense of dehumanization surrounding the entire tragedy as it relates to Black victims.

I don't have much doubt that this was a legitimate Church group.

You made the statement (not a very good one...sorry) "why would WHITE FOLKS FROM IDAHO, of all places, be interested in BLACK CHILDREN?"

That statement just doesn't look good.

There is quite a lot of legitimate missionary work/charity work led by whites (and others) in places like Haiti, Central America, South America, Africa, Asia, etc.... Not uncommon at all. I have known some of these folks. In fact, I just had a lecture from one last week at Washington University. A White minister who helps Kenyans obtain clean drinking extraordinary White man. Whether this group was completely above board or not... I am not attempting to vouch for. No one can say for sure at this point. But to suggest that such work isn't common is shortsighted...and the injection of race makes it look worse.

The adoption of these children & work with orphanages (by outside groups) has also grown more popular in recent years...that's why you have seen so many stories in the news over the past few weeks about adoptive U.S. parents trying to get their cases expedited so that they can bring their children home.

The fact is... these children are being adopted by whites because Black Americans and others of color have not been stepping up in significant numbers. (in fact, the same problem exists here in the U.S.). If the Whites coming forward to adopt have the resources and the love to provide good homes, then race should not be the big issue here.

Prosecutions? Not very likely. In fact, the U.S. diplomatic mission is working to clear this up. The U.S. is not likely to launch any criminal investigations. From what I have heard/read so far, there is no evidence of any serious egregious criminal activity.

Again...the issue here has to do with the adults not having the necessary documentation. The media (in this case) has made this into something that it is not....and some folks have jumped on board without taking an objective or critical look.


Brian said...

To me... this situation (as well as the showing of bodies in the rubble) has more to do with how Black and Brown folks are dehumanized to some degree. There is this idea (somehow embedded in the collective white sub conscience) that since these victims are Black....there is no need to afford them with a certain level of dignity. That since these children are poor and Black, that no one has to worry about having the proper paperwork... (Hell in most Countries you have to have proper paperwork if you are bringing an animal or non native plant across international borders). THIS is the issue here.

All the other noise is hyperbole.

I think we have to be careful about these kinds of posts...even for a small blog that has only 3 readers. They can cause headaches. Certain assumptions/suggestions should be avoided, especially in the absence of good evidence or reliable information.

I do believe that the Haitians were smart to make this policy...Although Haitian authorities are not explicitly suggesting that this group had negative intentions with the children... it does show that the policy was a good call and could be effective IMO.

And as for the leader of this group...saying she did nothing wrong... she already admitted in several reports that she didn't have the paperwork.

The problem in that with no effective government... no one seems to be in charge of this. No one is watching what these missionary groups and NGO's are doing (most are legitimate groups doing great work). Haitian police/UN folks should have authorities posted at every orphanage and every location where these children are being cared that no one comes in to do whatever they want or to take whoever they want. There is also the problem of thousands of homeless/street children in Haiti...and those who may have been orphaned who authorities don't know about yet.

I just have to stress... be patient with these kinds of stories. Wait a few days for more information to come in before reaching a conclusion or disparaging an entire category of people/charity organizations...or suggesting serious criminal activity.