White House denied plans to transfer migrants from Haiti to Guantanamo
The United States authorities do not intend to transfer migrants from Haiti, piled up on the border with Mexico in Texas, to a detention center at the U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where the prison is located. White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed this in a regular briefing to reporters Thursday.
“We won’t. There were never any plans to do that,” she said in response to a related question.
Earlier, The Hill reported that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is seeking a private contractor to reopen the temporary migrant detention center at the Guantanamo Bay base. The publication reviewed a contract notice from the Department of Homeland Security that said the center would accept 20 migrants daily, but would have the capacity to accommodate 120 people.
Applicants for positions at the center, according to the document, are required to be fluent in Spanish and Haitian Creole. The latter requirement, as the newspaper noted, immediately sparked speculation that U.S. authorities intend to ferry migrants from Haiti to Guantanamo, about 14 thousand of whom had accumulated in the state of Texas on the border with Mexico, which created a critical problem for the administration of President Joe Biden. But the Department of Homeland Security assured the publication that none of the Haitian migrants in Texas would be sent to the center being prepared to open.
“I think there has been some confusion related to the Guantanamo Bay detention center, which has been used for decades to temporarily hold migrants intercepted at sea and sent for resettlement in third countries,” Psaki said. The Department of Homeland Security contract notice, she said, “has caused some confusion because of the timing of its placement,” but it is actually “a routine, routine step in the contract renewal process, not related to the southern border.”
The migrant reception center at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base neighbors an American prison that has become the epitome of cruelty and lawlessness to the world. U.S. authorities have tortured and detained people suspected of involvement in terrorist activities there for years without trial.