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Lawmakers Continue Calls for Extending TPS for Haiti, Halting Deportations, Disrupting Arms Trafficking, Providing Humanitarian & Economic Assistance, and More


May 8, 2024



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Washington, D.C. — Haiti Caucus Co-Chairs Congresswomen Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), and Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (FL-20), along with Congresswoman Cori Bush (MO-01), Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (FL-24), and Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13), held a Capitol Hill press conference with colleagues and advocates to renew their calls for urgent federal action to address the growing crisis in Haiti. The press conference comes at a time when the humanitarian, political, economic, and security crises in Haiti are becoming increasingly dire. 

The policies called for by the lawmakers and advocates include: extending and redesignating TPS for Haiti; halting all deportations to Haiti; disrupting arms trafficking to the island; providing urgent humanitarian relief; preventing the transfer of Haitian nationals to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; passing a new economic assistance package that creates jobs and rebuilds Haiti’s infrastructure; facilitating the establishment of a representative transitional government led by Haitian civil society; and more.

“Our nation owes a debt to Haiti. Repayment begins by helping ensure that a Haitian-led democracy rings true in their communities, in the United States, and across the globe. We must take every action necessary to secure a democratic transition led by Haiti’s civil society, and that includes providing vital humanitarian and economic aid, expediting visa processing, cracking down on illegal arms trafficking, and extending TPS and halting deportations. Congress has a responsibility to support Haitian stability and the safety of all its people, and it holds the power to deliver the progress our Haitian neighbors at home and abroad are counting on. In this dire moment where the future of our beloved Caribbean ally is at risk and millions of lives remain imperiled, inaction is inexcusable,” said Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, Co-Chair of the House Haiti Caucus.

“Our Haitian siblings on the island and throughout the diaspora should know that we have not forgotten them and we will never stop fighting for the just and equitable future the Haitian people need and deserve,” said Congresswoman Pressley, Co-Chair of the House Haiti Caucus. “Congress and the Biden Administration have a moral obligation to take action to stabilize Haiti and to save lives, including by providing humanitarian and economic assistance, extending TPS for Haiti, halting deportations, supporting a democratic transition led by Haitian civil society, and more. If we truly believe Black lives matter, then that must include Haitian lives.”

“In the face of the crisis in Haiti, our moral compass and international duty compel us to step forward, not just to alleviate the immediate suffering of the Haitian people, but to address the systemic problems forcing Haitians to flee their homeland. The extension and re-designation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS), alongside an expedited parole program and an immediate halt to deportations, are critical first steps. But our responsibility does not end there. We must confront the root causes of migration by: (1) ensuring that Haitians can live safely and peacefully within their own borders; (2) taking a firm stand against the trafficking of firearms from places like Florida to Haiti; (3) holding those who perpetuate violence and instability accountable,” said Congresswoman Sheila Cherfilus McCormick, Co-Chair of the House Haiti Caucus. “As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I have a pulse on the challenges facing our allies around the world. Just as we have extended our support to them during their time of need, Haiti deserves the same treatment. The time for action is now – to protect lives, foster security, and promote stability where Haitians can thrive in their own country.”

“To deport people back to Haiti is a cause and kiss of death,” said Congresswoman Frederica Wilson. “There is nothing in Haiti but suffering, so we have to say to the President of the United States, ‘Stop the deportation.’ Not only expand TPS but stop the deportation and support the new government that we are putting together in Haiti. This government is being supported by the international community, the United States government, and the Caribbean community; it is Haitian-led. We must fund them—fund them just as we do other countries. Fund them! Fund them just like you fund other countries.”

The lawmakers were joined by Guerline Jozef, Executive Director of Haitian Bridge Alliance, Patrice Lawrence, Executive Director of UndocuBlack Network, Mary Estimé-Irvin, Chairwoman of National Haitian American Elected Officials Network, Tessa Petit, Executive Director of Florida Immigrant Coalition, and impacted families and TPS recipients.

“It’s urgent for President Biden to re-designate and extend TPS for Haiti,” said Guerline Jozef, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Haitian Bridge Alliance. “Equally vital is for the United States Congress to pass an economic package supporting job creation and key infrastructure projects. Additionally, the Biden administration must immediately cease the deportation of Haitian nationals. Sending people to a country plagued by insecurity and humanitarian crises is unconscionable. The disparate treatment of Black immigrants must come to an end!”

“UndocuBlack Network calls on the Biden- Harris administration to end the cruelty against Haitians. It is cruel to deport Haitian nationals while arranging for evacuation of American nationals at the same time. Our ask is simple, honor the dignity of Haitian people. If Secretary Mayorkas leads by these values, he will release Haitians from detention, extend and redesignate TPS for Haiti and stop the deportations now. To be the change President Biden claimed to be, he must act differently from his predecessors especially as it relates to Black immigrants,” said Patrice Lawrence, Executive Director, UndocuBlack Network.

“The painful reality of the Haitian people is complex and multi-layered. However, the immediate steps that need to be taken can happen with the stroke of a pen. It is time for the Administration to redesignate and extend TPS for Haiti. It is also crucial that all deportation of Haitians be immediately halted,” said Tessa Petit, Executive Director, Florida Immigrant Coalition. “Haitians need security, justice, understanding and acceptance. That will only be possible with the will from the administration to support Haiti by addressing its root causes, through a comprehensive humanitarian and economic support that will change the future of the Haitian people.”

“An economic plan akin to the Marshall Plan is essential to aid Haiti, which is located less than 90 miles from our shores, in addition to humanitarian assistance and the reconsideration of TPS,” said Mary Estimé-Irvin, Chairwoman, National Haitian American Elected Officials Network. “Like Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan, Haiti is a sovereign nation that requires support.”

Footage from the press conference can be found here, and photos can be found here.

  • On April 23, 2024, Rep. Clarke and the Haiti Caucus led 50 of their colleagues in a letter to the Biden-Harris Administration urging the redesignation of Temporary Protected Status for Haiti and a pause on deportations.
  • 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.