Biden administration criticized for deporting Haitian refugees just days before devastating earthquake
Washington DC – Refugee advocates are calling on the Biden administration to stop deportations to Haiti and extend protections for Haitians in the US.
Pregnant people and infant children were said to be on board the aircraft, according to the University of California's Center for Gender & Refugee Studies.
Now, Haitian Americans and supporters are calling on the US government to end its deportation policy to Haiti, at least for the time being.
Leah Chavla, director of the Women's Refugee Commission, said in a statement, "It is crystal clear that now is not the time for the United States to be forcibly removing anyone to Haiti, and frankly it has been dangerous to do so for months now."
"Deportations under these circumstances will further destabilize Haiti in a moment when it needs support from the international community," she continued.
Activists call for extension of Temporary Protective Status
Activists are also calling on the Biden administration once again to extend the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians in the US.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas extended TPS for Haitians once in May and again on August 3.
The current TPS protocols allow Haitians who have been living and residing in the US as of July 29 to remain in the country until February 3, 2023.
Tessa Petit of the Florida Immigrant Coalition told the Miami Herald, "Our concern is that the folks who are being deported because they don’t have due process ... It’s hard to know if they entered the United States before July 29th."
Though he extended TPS, Mayorkas in July issued a strict warning to potential Haitian and Cuban immigrants by sea, warning them they would be turned away if they attempted to make landing on the US coast.
Horrified by the thought of sending Haitians back to a country in crisis, many Democrats are seeking a permanent path to citizenship for Haitian TPS recipients and other migrants. They hope funding for such measures will be included in the final Democratic reconciliation bill.
Cover photo: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire