MIRA Coalition Letter to Biden Administration – Haiti
October 15, 2021
Hon. Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
President of the United States 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20500
Hon. Alejandro N. Mayorkas
Secretary of Homeland Security U.S. Department of Homeland Security 1707 Martin Luther King Jr Ave, SE Washington, DC 20528
Dear President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas:
We are writing to express grave concern with the treatment of Haitians as well as other individuals seeking safety at our borders. Thousands of Haitians were killed and tens of thousands injured as a result of the earthquake that devastated Haiti on August 14, 2021. The earthquake struck as Haiti was experiencing significant political and criminal violence as a result of the July 7 assassination of President Moise, and as millions of Haitians continue to face food insecurity.
We want to take this opportunity to thank you for your recent announcement reinstating the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program, and look forward to the robust implementation of the program. We also applaud the Administration’s new designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status in recognition of the extraordinary security and economic challenges the country is facing. Nonetheless, the recent treatment of Haitians at the border, the ongoing deportation of Haitians to such dire conditions, and the Administration’s ongoing defense and use of Title 42 expulsions run counter to its expressed commitment to addressing the humanitarian needs at the border and restoring asylum and other humanitarian protections.
In response, we urge the Administration to take the following actions:
- End Title 42 expulsions:
Despite federal courts finding that the Administration likely does not have authority under U.S. law to implement the CDC’s Title 42 policy, you have chosen to continue to defend the policy and expel vulnerable individuals to countries where they face violence, persecution, and deprivation. During the election, the Biden-Harris campaign stated that, “Trump has waged an unrelenting assault on our values and our history as a nation of immigrants. It’s wrong, and it stops when Joe Biden is elected president,” and promised to “[r]eassert America’s commitment to asylum-seekers and refugees.” Continuing with the previous administration’s inhumane policies that directly target those seeking refuge betrays the values and history that the campaign promised to uphold.
- Halt deportations to Haiti:
Rather than stopping deportations, as was done following the 2010 earthquake, the Administration has seemingly ramped up removals to Haiti. As of mid-July, over 2,0001 Haitian migrants had been deported. Just in late September, nearl 4,000 Haitians, including hundreds of families with children, were deported at the border without an opportunity to seek asylum.2 The Administration should immediately halt deportations to Haiti. In addition, pending removal cases for Haitian individuals should be immediately reviewed and considered for administrative closure.
- Extend TPS protections to recent Haitian arrivals:
In updating the eligibility cut off date for TPS to July 29 following President Moise’s assassination, the Administration has shown it can act quickly to adapt to current events and needs. The earthquake has only contributed to the worsening of conditions and exacerbated the circumstances of vulnerable individuals. The TPS physical presence date should once again be updated to reflect the continuing need of Haitians who have continued to arrive seeking safety and protection in the wake of the August 14, 2021 earthquake.
Jessica Chicco, Esq.
Director of New Americans Initiatives – MIRA
President & CEO MIRA – MIRA
Rev. Dieufort Fleurissaint
Haitian Americans United – (MIRA member organization)
Dr. Geralde Gabeau
Immigrant Family Services Institute
(MIRA member organization)
- ABCD Parker Hill/Fenway NSC
- Advocacy Director, Latinos for Education
- American Family Child Care
- Amplify Latinx
- Ascentria Care Alliance, Immigration Legal Assistance Program
- Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence (ATASK)
- Boston Immigrant Justice Accompaniment Network
- Brazilian Women’s Group
- Center for New Americans
- Community Action Agency of Somerville, Inc.
- DOVE (Domestic Violence Ended), Inc.
- Haitian American Baptist Ministers Association
- Haitian Americans United
- International Institute of New England Latinos Unidos en Massachusetts (LUMA) Massachusetts Baptist Multicultural Ministries Massachusetts Senior Care Association Maverick Landing Community Services
- Na’aseh, social justice committee of Congregation Beth Elohim Progressive Massachusetts
- Rian Immigrant Center
- Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston
- St Mark Community Education Program
- Student Clinic for Immigrant Justice
- The Right to Immigration Institute
- United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1445
1 Borger, Julian. 2021. “Haiti Deportations Soar as Biden Administration Deploys Trump-Era Health Order.” The Guardian, March 25, 2021. http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/mar/25/haiti-deportations-soar-as-biden-administration-deploys-trump-er a-health-order