Open Letter To President Biden-Moratorium on ALL Haitian Expulsions
The Honorable Joseph R. Biden
President of the United States (POTUS)
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500
The Honorable Anthony Blinken
U.S. Secretary of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20037
The Honorable Michele J. Sison
U.S. Ambassador to Haiti
Route de Tabarre
The Honorable Kamala Harris
Vice-President of the United States
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500
The Honorable Alejandro Mayorkas
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
301 7th Street SW
Washington, DC 20024
June 19, 2020
February 12, 2021
Re: Moratorium on ALL non-criminal expulsions to Haiti amid the political and humanitarian crisis
Dear President Biden, Vice-President Harris, Secretary Blinken, Secretary Mayorkas, and Ambassador Sison,
We, the undersigned immigrant rights organizations, ask that the Biden administration immediately halt all expulsions/ mass deportations to Haiti. We call on the Administration to act in the spirit and optics of their guidelines outlined on January 20, 2021, DHS memorandum, which set a 100-day pause on all deportations. Under the new order, President Biden has explicitly indicated that ICE should only focus on removing suspected terrorists or convicted criminals. Despite this, ICE continues to expel non-criminal and non-violent immigrants based on the criteria of Title 42 of the United States Code Section 265, under the guise of health concerns. The record number of expulsions to Haiti this month alone is merely shocking. Recent deportation and expulsion flights are made up of black immigrants, including children and infants under two years of age. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) aggressively enforces unjust policies against black immigrants and asylum seekers, and this vile treatment must end now.
In the short period from February 1, 2021, until now, ICE has completed roughly half of the planned mass deportations and expulsions of 1800 immigrants to Haiti. On February 2, the mass deportations included Paul Pierrilus, a man who wasn't born in Haiti, is not a Haitian citizen and has no family or ties there. Regrettably, these flights have taken place almost daily, similar to the Trump administration's track record in the first half of October 2020. We, the undersigned, are appalled that the Biden administration is continuing to follow this disturbing precedent, and we are respectfully asking the Administration to halt all mass deportations immediately and expulsions, whether under Title 42 or otherwise.
Haitians are expelled from the United States at a time when Haiti, for months, has been paralyzed by multiple and escalating crises, as the Washington Post, Miami Herald, and other reporting documents. The Haitian people have experienced violent killings, skyrocketing kidnappings, rape, sexual assault, gender-based violence, and repression from state-aligned forces. Insecurity is widespread amidst state-sponsored gang-related crime. Government corruption is rampant, as shown by the Petro Caribe scandal. Schools and businesses are shuttered amidst strikes.
It is unconscionable and inhumane for the Biden-Harris Administration to be engaged in mass deportations of non-violent, non-criminal black refugees at this volatile
time, without affording them the fundamental rights of due process. President Biden's signing of the deportations moratorium, its executive order to launch a task force to reunite families separated by the Trump administration, and his calls for racial equity in every decision of his government are at odds with the current expulsions and deportations. It is ironic to see, during these first two weeks of Black History Month, black immigrant families, including pregnant women and infants, who have survived a 10-country odyssey in brutal conditions, are now being forcefully deported. This is not who we are as a country. The new Biden-Harris Administration is within its power to break with past practices, revoke Title 42, and halt ICE expulsions, which are inconsistent with its commitment to immigration reform, human rights, and racial justice. We urge the Administration to take these steps.
Congressmen Gregory Meeks, Alcee Hastings, Andy Levin, and Senator Patrick Leahy are joining a chorus of U.S. elected lawmakers asking for transparency and respect for human rights for the people of Haiti. Lawmakers such as Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley and Congressman Mondaire Jones are also asking for an immediate halt to deportations to Haiti and Africa during Black History Month.
We join the chorus urging the Biden administration to halt mass expulsions of black immigrants without any asylum processing, in complete violation of international laws. These expulsions are occurring in unprecedented numbers, to a country suffering a political crisis and during a worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. Black lives matter. Women and children's lives matter. Haitian lives matter.
Family Action Network Movement (FANM)
FANM In Action
Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees