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December 11, 2023



c: 202.913.0126

Washington, D.C. — Today, ahead of the 220th Anniversary of Haitian Independence Day, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09) and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Co-Chairs of the House Haiti Caucus, urged the U.S. Department of State to withdraw U.S. support for an armed foreign intervention in Haiti and encourage negotiations for a Haitian-led democratic political transition. The United Nations recently approved a U.S-drafted resolution supporting a Kenyan-led Multinational Security Support (MSS) in Haiti.

In their letter, the lawmakers expressed concern that a foreign military intervention further risks destabilizing the country, endangering more innocent people, and entrenching the current illegitimate regime.

“We are gravely concerned that an armed foreign intervention will only serve as a tool to buttress an illegitimate leader and undermine efforts by a representative transitional government to define the actual support desired from the international community.,” the lawmakers wrote. “The State Department should not override the will of the Haitian people – it is clear that a transitional government is the only viable path forward for Haiti to return to stability and democracy.”

To further save the lives of Haitians and reduce violence on the island, the lawmakers urged the Administration to swiftly block arms shipments to Haiti and hold weapons traffickers and gang financiers accountable for their actions.

“Countering this continued gun trafficking to Haiti is a critical step to the security and stability of the country. We urge you to work with the relevant government agencies, including the Department of Justice, to take the steps necessary to put a robust anti-arms trafficking to Haiti strategy in place,” the lawmakers continued. “Rather than hastily address this situation by supporting an armed foreign intervention – a strategy that has been tried and failed several times in Haiti – we urge you to take a holistic approach.”

In addition to Rep. Clarke, the letter was signed by Representatives Rashida Tlaib (MI-12), Barabara Lee (CA-12), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), and James P. McGovern (MA-02).

A copy of the letter can be found here.

As a founding co-chair of the House Haiti Caucus, Rep. Clarke has consistently supported a compassionate, humanitarian response to the overlapping crises in Haiti that centers Haitian civil society.

  • 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 August 2022, Rep. Clarke, along with Reps. Val Demings (FL-10), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), and Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (FL-20), called on President Biden to appoint a new Special Envoy to Haiti, a position that has remained unfilled since September 2021. 
  • 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 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.
  • 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 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.