For Immediate Release: September 24, 2021
Contact: [email protected]
Cities for Action Statement Urging DHS to Halt Deportations to Haiti and Uphold the Right to Asylum
Cities for Action issued the following statement in response to reports of mass deportation flights to Haiti of individuals fleeing violence and natural disaster.
Cities for Action (C4A) has been alarmed by recent reports of horrific mistreatment of Haitian asylum-seekers and mass deportation flights. The extraordinary conditions that led to DHS designating Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)-- a political crisis, violence, human rights abuses, lack of access to food, water, healthcare, and the global COVID-19 pandemic-- have only been exacerbated by the recent assassination of the president and a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that has taken thousands of lives and destroyed over 100,000 homes. C4A urges the Biden Administration to immediately suspend deportations to Haiti and ensure that these individuals' claims for humane treatment and protection are fairly processed.
This Administration has committed to a vision of a modern, fair, and humane immigration system. Turning away those who are coming to the U.S. seeking safety and refuge cannot be a part of that vision. The Administration's continued use of Title 42 to expel asylum seekers and DHS's recent "comprehensive strategy" to deport Haitian migrants en masse are not in line with our country's values or asylum laws. This inhumane policy stance, largely impacting Black migrants, is a prime example of the racism that underlies our broken immigration and enforcement systems.
Last month, 30 Cities for Action mayors sent a letter to the Biden Administration requesting to expand the TPS policy, including updating the "continuous presence" eligibility cut-off date for Haitian TPS to reflect the August 14th earthquake that devastated the country.
C4A includes many member localities with large Haitian communities who have contributed significantly to our economic well-being and social vibrancy. On behalf of our constituents, we call on the Administration to treat the Haitians arriving at the border as the refugees they are and to uphold our asylum laws and values as a nation of immigrants.