Senators are calling on the Biden administration to offer protections for Haitian immigrants already in the U.S., as hundreds have already been deported since President Joe Biden was sworn into office.
On Jan. 20, Biden attempted to halt most deportations, but a federal judge temporarily blocked the move, stating that the recent removals match Biden’s new enforcement priorities — such as people who recently crossed the border or who were convicted of serious crimes.
Lawmakers want Biden to do more.
“The community should not still be in panic across this nation when we have an administration that is willing to do the work of stopping these deportations,” Rep. Ilhan Omar said per The Washington Post. “They have the authority to say no more flights will leave the United States.”
Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez and his Republican colleague, Marco Rubio, penned a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkascalling on the Biden administration to issue a new round of deportation protections.
“We write to express our deep concern about the complicated economic, security, and humanitarian challenges in Haiti and respectfully request that you consider redesignating Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Haiti’s protracted political crisis exacerbates the severe and prolonged humanitarian needs sparked by the 2010 earthquake,” the senators wrote in a letter intended for Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
“While the Government of Haiti has been able to receive limited numbers of Haitian nationals removed from the United States, it lacks the capacity to provide the needed reception and care for tens of thousands of returnees.”
Last week, Temporary Protected Status was issued to Venezuelans… so why not Haiti?
Guerline Jozef, executive director of the Haitian Bridge Alliance, accuses Biden of securing Haitian votes in the election before deporting them once he became president.
“My heart is heavy, my soul troubled. The continued cruel, evil & inhumane treatment of migrants specially black asylum seekers by President @JoeBiden. The build back better plan does NOT include protection for Haitians. @POTUS,” Jozef tweeted. “Got our votes then Déports our brothers and sisters.”