Part 2: Haitian Immigrant & Father of Four Faces Deportation Despite Lack of Fair Hearing in Court


AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!,, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, as we turn to Part 2 of our conversation with a man who says he made a mistake when he was a teenager that could lead to his deportation nearly three decades later, this week, in 2017. Jean Montrevil came to the U.S. from Haiti with a green card in 1986 when he was 17 years old. During the height of the crack epidemic, he was convicted of possession of cocaine and sentenced to 11 years in prison. Upon his release, he married a U.S. citizen. He had four children and became a successful small businessman, as well as an immigrant rights activist. He has had no further interaction with the criminal justice system. But because of his earlier conviction, Jean is required to check in with immigration officers regularly under a supervision program.

Jean joined us in 2010, after he was detained at one of these check-ins and came very close to being deported to Haiti. But when a fellow detainee in the plane bound for Haiti had a fever, the illness halted the flight. And then the 2010 earthquake struck that week. With Haiti too devastated to deport people to, Jean was released. Since then, he has continued to check in, with no further threats of deportation, until last month, when he went to his first check-in under President Trump. Without any advance notice, he was detained, handcuffed, processed to be deported, until calls from his supporters apparently prompted immigration officials to release him.

Well, on Thursday, tomorrow, he has to check in again, and he’s concerned he will again be detained, and afraid he will then be deported. This comes as Haiti, the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, continues to recover from the devastating 2010 earthquake. It’s also suffered from a disastrous hurricane and cholera outbreak. This week, President Trump’s top immigration official warned members of Congress that Haitians living in the U.S. under a special TPS—that’s temporary protected status—may soon be placed in line for deportation. Last week, 50 of Jean’s supporters participated in a Jericho walk organized by the New Sanctuary Coalition and marched silently around the federal building here in New York, where he has to check in. Another Jericho walk is scheduled for Thursday, when he returns.

For more, we continue our conversation with Jean Montrevil in our studio here in New York, along with his eldest daughter, 18-year-old Janiah Heard, and his lawyer, Joshua Bardavid.

Read or watch the entire interview at