Clarke and Haiti Caucus Co-Chairs Lead Letter to Biden Administration Urging Protections for Haitian Migrants and Humanitarian Assistance for Haiti

Clarke and Haiti Caucus Co-Chairs Lead Letter to Biden Administration Urging Protections for Haitian Migrants and Humanitarian Assistance for Haiti

Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke. Editorial credit: a katz / Shutterstock.com

Listen to the interview with Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke here:

Washington, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09), along with Haiti Caucus Co-Chairs Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) and Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (FL-20), led a group of 50 lawmakers urging the Biden Administration to redesignate Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), pause on deportations back to Haiti, extend humanitarian parole to any Haitians currently detained in Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s detention centers, end detention of Haitian migrants intercepted at sea, and provide additional humanitarian assistance for Haiti.

In the letter, the lawmakers wrote, “We urge the Administration to redesignate Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), halt deportations back to Haiti, and extend humanitarian parole to any Haitians currently detained in Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) detention centers. Additionally, we request your administration’s end to the detention of Haitian migrants who were interdicted at sea. The possibility of transferring them to Guantánamo Bay naval base and other offshore migrant detention centers is concerning and must not be explored. In addition, we are asking that you provide humanitarian assistance to help Haitians navigate these tragically traumatic and difficult times.”

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Cosigners in the House include Representatives Gabe Amo, Joyce Beatty, Jamaal Bowman, Cori Bush, Tony Cardenas, Troy Carter, Greg Casar, Kathy Castor, Joaquin Castro, Emanuel Cleaver, Danny Davis, Veronica Escobar, Adriano Espaillat, Dwight Evans, Maxwell Frost, Jesus “Chuy” García, Raul Grijalva, Steven Horsford, Jonathan Jackson, Sheila Jackson Lee, Pramila Jayapal, Hank Johnson, Sydney Kamlager-Dove, Robin Kelly, Ro Khanna, Barbara Lee, Summer Lee, Jennifer McClellan, Jim McGovern, Grace Meng, Kweisi Mfume, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Ilhan Omar, Donald Payne, Mark Pocan, Mike Quigley, Delia Ramirez, Jan Schakowsky, Terri Sewell, Darren Soto, Marilyn Strickland, Bennie Thompson, Rashida Tlaib, Ritchie Torres, Marc Veasey, Nydia Velázquez, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Williams, and Frederica Wilson. 

The letter is endorsed by 140 organizations and advocacy groups including UndocuBlack Network, Haitian Bridge Alliance, Communities United for Status and Protection (CUSP), African Communities Together, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC), Haitian Americans United for Progress, Inc. (HAUP), Alianza Americas, National Immigrant Justice Center, Adhikaar for Human Rights and Social Justice, Human Rights First, Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), TPS-DED AAC Coalition, Center for Gender & Refugee Studies, Faith in Texas, Immigration Hub, National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), Estrella del Paso (Formerly Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services Inc), and more.

  • On March 12, 2024, Rep. Clarke and the Haiti Caucus issued a statement on the resignation of Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry.
  • In early March 2024, Rep. Clarke and the Haiti Caucus called for a Multinational Security Support Mission and humanitarian assistance to help restore security for the Haitian people.
  • In August 2023, Rep. Clarke urged a Texas federal judge to preserve the humanitarian parole program responsible for saving the lives of countless migrant families from Haiti and other distressed nations.
  • Rep. Clarke has consistently called on the Department of Homeland Security to end the practice of expelling migrants under Title 42 and to employ alternative forms of humanitarian relief for detainees subject to deportation for the remainder of the pandemic. 
  • In September 2022, Rep. Clarke and Rep. Ritchie Torres (NY-15) introduced a resolution calling for the acknowledgement of Haiti as the first free Black nation in the Americas, and how its longstanding “double debt” continues to damage the freedom and prosperity of the nation.
  • In January 2022, Clarke led a letter to U.S. Department of State Secretary Antony Blinken urging the Biden-Administration to take additional steps to mobilize international support for the Haitian people as they work to rebuild from years of natural disasters, economic hardship, and political turmoil.
  • In January 2022, Caucus Co-Chairs Clarke, Demings, Levin, and Pressley released a statement following the 12 year anniversary of the catastrophic 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti and devastated its civilian population.
  • In October 2021, Rep. Clarke and Haiti Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Val Demings (FL-10), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), and Andy Levin (MI-09) issued a statement following the kidnapping of American and Canadian missionaries in Haiti.
  • In July 2021, Rep. Clarke, along with Reps. Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Andy Levin (MI-09) and Val Demings (FL-10) issued a statement condemning the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse and calling for an independent investigation into the criminal act.
  • In May 2021, on Haitian Flag Day, Reps. Clarke, Pressley, Levin, and Demings announced the formation of the House Haiti Caucus, a Congressional caucus dedicated to pursuing a just foreign policy that puts the needs and aspirations of the Haitian people first.

Read the full letter here.

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