On August 12, 2019, the ACLU of New Hampshire filed an emergency federal lawsuit afternoon on behalf of a Haitian immigrant who was to be transferred on August 13 to Louisiana to be deported. A federal judge granted the ACLU’s emergency motion to stop the transfer and deportation because the immigrant, Jeff Benson Beaubrun, has a still-pending court motion to reopen his immigration case, which he would not be able to partake in from Haiti.
Beaubrun fled Haiti with his wife after being viciously attacked by members of an opposing political party. After fleeing, the political party killed his young son, threatened his sister, and made death threats to Beaubrun. Despite this, he was ordered to be deported back to Haiti as soon as August 20, 2019.
Beaubrun initially applied for asylum in the United States in 2016, but fled to Canada in 2017 after reading news stories that this administration would no longer grant protection for Haitians. He was denied Canadian asylum due to the Safe Third Country Agreement, which states that if an immigrant passes through the U.S. first, they cannot apply for asylum in Canada, and vice versa. Upon arriving back to the U.S. in 2019, he was detained because he had missed his 2017 U.S. asylum hearings and, in his absence, was ordered to be deported. The U.S. government never gave him a fear interview, the first step in the asylum process, when he came back from Canada. The case is still pending.