See a special on the sad plight of legal immigrants deported to Haiti from the United States for legal infractions. Deported, by Rachèle Magloire and Chantal Regnault, makes its U.S. television premiere on Sunday, June 8, at 9 p.m. as part of AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange.
Since 1996 and 2002 – barring a one-year respite following the deadly Haitian earthquake of January 2010 – the U.S. and Canada have each implemented a policy of repatriation of all foreign residents who have committed crimes on their soil.
These infractions range from violent crimes to convictions for such offenses as driving while intoxicated or petty theft.
Chantal Regnault (author/co-director) was born in France and moved to the United States, where she settled in New York City and studied at New York University. Primarily a photojournalist, she has been published in numerous newspapers and magazines: The New York Times, The Village Voice, Libération, Newsweek, Vanity Fair, Aperture, Geo and Photo. Le Devoir as well as Le Point, a Radio Canada TV magazine.
Rachèle Magloire (co-director/producer) was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and raised in Montreal, Quebec, where she graduated in Communications from Université du Québec à Montréal. She returned to Haiti, where she worked as a reporter for Télé Haiti and wrote for Haïti en Marche, a weekly published in Miami. She worked as chief editor and news director for Haiti National Television, as a writer for the Montreal dailies La Presse and Le Devoir as well as Le Point, a Radio Canada TV magazine.
Deported follows seven North American offenders as they return to Haiti for the first time since leaving as children to face an unfamiliar and hostile homeland.
The film exposes the heavy burden facing Caribbean and Latin American countries due to the forced “migration” of these immigrants – who often have no family ties and no support system in the new environment to help them re-integrate into society.
“With many deportees to Haiti having no family members there or knowledge of the native language and sometimes even being homeless, they often fight for barest survival,” said Magloire and Regnault, who followed the deportees for three years while capturing the anguish, anxiety and regret of their families left behind in North America. “We felt we needed to turn a spotlight on this practice as well as to educate young immigrants to the especially stiff penalties they can face for sometimes minor violations.”
AfroPoP, hosted by actor Anthony Mackie, is a documentary series of independent films on contemporary life, art and pop culture across the African Diaspora. It airs on the WORLD Channel and is produced by National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC), and co-presented by American Public Television (APT).
“When immigration hits the headlines, rarely are people of African descent being discussed, yet U.S. immigration policies are affecting increasingly diverse black communities – a fact that is often overlooked both in the black community and on the national scene,” said NBPC Vice President and Director of Programming Leslie Fields-Cruz, who is also co-executive producer of AfroPoP. “We hope to shed light on often-forgotten people and on issues that should be a central part of the conversation on immigration.”
NBPC will also offer additional online programming in June surrounding the special. A series of Caribbean shorts will screen on NBPC’s website, blackpublicmedia.org
The first two shorts, together with Deported, are part of a three-part examination of immigration from the Afro-Caribbean perspective.
These films include Kareem Mortimer’s Passage, in which a Haitian woman and her brother are smuggled on a fishing vessel to the Bahamas; and Lisa Harewood’s Auntie, which focuses on an often ignored side effect of migration: the disruption and heartache in the lives and relationships of the people left behind.
In Vivre, a short by Maharaki, a teacher asks her class what they want to do when they grow up; while his classmates happily respond, Tom, a quiet 10-year-old boy, slips away. Rounding out the programming, will be the documentary short Small Man by Mariel Brown, which follows an ordinary man of modest means who creates models, dollhouses and more in a small workshop in his home.
Along with WORLD Channel airings, AfroPoP will air on local public television stations nationwide in June 2014.
ON THE WEB: