09/17/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/17/2021 13:32
ORLANDO, FL - Today, U.S. Rep. Val Demings (FL-10), Co-Chair of the House Haiti Caucus, joined 55 of her colleagues to call on the Biden Administration to immediately halt deportations to Haiti and take urgent action to address the concerns of the Haitian Diaspora after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake devastated Haiti last month. The lawmakers' letter follows the Administration's resumption of deportation flights to Haiti and as thousands of Haitian migrants continue to await an opportunity to make an asylum claim at the border.
Over two thousand Haitians were killed and twelve thousand more have been seriously injured as a result of the earthquake on August 14, 2021, and many cities have been reduced to rubble. This earthquake struck areas of Haiti that were already experiencing extreme vulnerability, with some 4.1 million Haitians-more than a third of the total population-living with food insecurity, and 2.1 percent of children suffering severe malnutrition. All of the conditions leading to the Biden Administration's original Temporary Protected Status (TPS) redesignation on May 22, 2021, the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse on July 7 and now the August 14 earthquake and subsequent tropical storm make safe return to Haiti completely impossible.
In response to these ongoing events, the lawmakers urged the Administration to:
In May, on Haitian Flag Day, Reps. Pressley, Levin, Clarke 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.