We call on President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas to halt all removals to Haiti immediately. The humanitarian crisis in Haiti continues to worsen. The United Nations special rapporteur on human rights stated in May that, “Armed violence has reached unimaginable and intolerable levels in Haiti.” In the days after that statement was made, your administration actually accelerated expulsions to Haiti, with multiple flights a day including extremely rare weekend removals.
The administration’s decision to continue expulsions to Haiti under Title 42 and employ expanded use of expedited removal not only denies refugees an opportunity to seek humanitarian relief but is contributing to the instability in the country. These removals are a violation of the principle of non-refoulement, which is fundamental to the government’s international obligations as well as domestic law. Further, these removals directly contract a recent court order requiring your administration to provide credible fear interviews prior to Title 42 expulsions.
The numbers are shocking. The administration has expelled 26,000 Haitians since taking office, well over 23,000 just since September of 2021. At least 8,000 of those removed have ended up in Port au Prince, which has seen an explosion of violence between warring gang factions. Members of these warring factions are aligned with the current government, a government the US helped to bring to power and inexplicably continues to stand by. Adding thousands of desperate refugees into this situation is a cruelty without measure.
No other president has removed so many Haitians in such a short period of time. While we understand the circumstances are unique at the United States border under Title 42, the situation for Haitians returned is extraordinarily dangerous. These humanitarian considerations should far outweigh any inconvenience the administration might claim.
We join with human rights organizations, Members of Congress, editorial boards of the NY Times, Washington Post, Miami Herald and Boston Globe, in calling on you to stop these expulsions. The United States should be providing humanitarian parole to Haitian refugees, not sending them back to the extraordinary dangers they will face.
Stop the removals!