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Amid Escalating Violence in Haiti, Pressley, Markey, Haiti Caucus Lead Colleagues in Urging Biden Administration to Extend TPS and Halt Deportations

Approximately 731,000 Haitian-born people live in the United States

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Co-Chair of the House Haiti Caucus, and Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA), along with Haiti Caucus Co-Chairs Yvette Clarke (NY-09) and Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (FL-20), led a group of 67 lawmakers in urging the Department of Homeland Security Secretary and Department of State to immediately redesignate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti, which would authorize Haitian nationals in the United States to remain in the country until conditions improve in Haiti. The lawmakers also call on the Biden administration to pause all deportation flights to Haiti until conditions improve.

Armed gangs control most of Haiti’s territory, including the capital city of Port-au-Prince, exposing those in Haiti to human rights abuses such as killings, kidnappings, and sexual violence. Since Prime Minister Ariel Henry has announced his resignation after facing immense public pressure, the country will continue to experience instability exacerbated by armed gangs, as an interim leader facilitates elections.

 

In the letter, the lawmakers wrote, “Both of these steps are necessary to ensure that the United States does not return Haitian nationals to a government incapable of protecting its citizens — often subjecting them to repression and violence — and gangs that brutally victimize residents and operate without restrictions. Because of the quickly worsening gang violence in Haiti, the uncertain political future following Prime Minister Henry’s resignation announcement, the lack of accountability for human rights violations, and the current government’s abuses, we urge you to extend and redesignate TPS for Haiti and use your discretion to halt deportation flights to the country. These actions will prevent further suffering and unnecessary loss of life.”

 

Cosigners in the House include Representatives Alma Adams, Troy Carter, Sydney Kamlager-Dove, Nydia Velazquez, Rashida Tlaib, Delia Ramirez, Maxine Waters, Donald Payne Jr., Frederica Wilson, Pramila Jayapal, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Robert Garcia, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Jan Schakowsky, Barbara Lee, Maxwell Alejandro Frost, Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, Cori Bush, Lois Frankel, David Trone, James P. McGovern, Nikema Williams, Adriano Espaillat, Lauren Underwood, Dina Titus, Darren Soto, Seth Moulton, Grace Meng, Gabe Amo, Marc Veasey, William R. Keating, Dan Goldman, Donald Beyer, Ro Khanna, Jamaal Bowman, Tony Cardenas, Veronica Escobar, Greg Casar, Bennie Thompson, Andy Kim, Juan Vargas, Debbie Dingell, Marcy Kaptur, and Sheila Jackson Lee.

 

Cosigners in the Senate include Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Laphonza Butler (D-Calif.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawai’i), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).

 

As Representative for the Massachusetts 7th Congressional District, Congresswoman Pressley serves as Co-Chair for the House Haiti Caucus and represents one of the largest Haitian diaspora communities in the country, with approximately 46,000 Haitians and Haitian-Americans living across the state and over half in the Boston metropolitan area. Additionally, Massachusetts is home to more than 4,700 Haitians with Temporary Protected Status.

 

  • On March 12, 2024, Rep. Pressley and Haiti Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Cherfilus McCormick and Yvette Clarke issued a statement on the resignation of Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry.
  • On March 6, 2024, Rep. Pressley issued a statement on the recent jailbreak and State of Emergency in Haiti.
  • On December 8, 2023, Rep. Pressley and Congresswoman Yvette Clarke 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.
  • On December 6, 2022, Rep. Pressley issued a statement applauding the Biden Administration’s extension and re-designation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti.
  • On December 1, 2022, Rep. Pressley, Rep. Cori Bush, and Rep. Mondaire Jones led 14 of their colleagues on a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas urging the Department to extend and redesignate Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
  • On August 17, 2022, Rep. Pressley, along with Haiti Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Val Demings, Yvette Clarke, 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.
  • On May 31, 2022, Rep. Pressley and Reverend Dieufort Fleurissaint, chair of Haitian Americans United, published an op-ed in the Bay State Banner in which they called on the Biden administration to withdraw support for de facto ruler of Haiti, Ariel Henry, and instead support an inclusive, civil society-led process to restore stability and democracy on the island.
  • On May 26, 2022, Rep. Pressley, along with with Representatives Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Andy Levin (MI-09), Jim McGovern (MA-02), and Frederica Wilson (FL-24), led a letter to United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Power urging her to act to ensure food security in Haiti.
  • In February 2022, Reps. Pressley, Judy Chu (CA-27), and Nydia Velázquez (NY-07) led 33 other House Democrats on a letter to CDC Director Walensky demanding answers about the agency’s justification for treating asylum seekers as a unique public health threat, how these expulsions are being coordinated, how asylum seekers being returned to dangerous situations are being cared for, and more. Days later, Rep. Pressley once again called on the Biden Administration to reverse the Title 42 Order and other anti-Black immigration policies.
  • On March 16, 2022, Rep. Pressley and Rep. Mondaire Jones called on Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky to fully end Title 42, cease deportations of people to Haiti and affirm their legal and fundamental human right to seek asylum.
  • On February 16, 2022, Rep. Pressley joined Congresswoman Cori Bush (MO-01), Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), and 100 House and Senate colleagues in urging President Biden to reverse inhumane immigration policies – such as Title 42, originally introduced under the Trump Administration – that continue to disproportionately harm Black migrants.
  • On February 14, 2022, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), alongside Representatives Judy Chu (CA-27) and Nydia Velázquez (NY-07), led 33 other House Democrats on a letter to Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, demanding answers about the agency’s justification for treating asylum seekers as a unique public health threat, how these expulsions are being coordinated, how asylum seekers being returned to dangerous situations are being cared for, and more.
  • In April 2022, she joined her colleagues at a press conference reaffirming her support for President Biden’s decision to end Title 42. Full video of her remarks at the press conference is available here. Rep. Pressley applauded the Biden Administration’s end of Title 42 in a statement in April 2022.
  • In September 2022, Rep. Pressley and Rep. Velázquez led 54 of their colleagues on a letter calling on the Biden Administration to immediately halt deportations to Haiti and provide humanitarian parole protections for those seeking asylum. The lawmakers’ letter followed the Administration’s resumption of deportation flights to Haiti as thousands of Haitian migrants continue to await an opportunity to make an asylum claim at the border.
  • In September 2022, Rep. Pressley joined her colleagues on the House Oversight Committee in demanding answers regarding the inhumane treatment of migrants in Del Rio, Texas, by Border Patrol agents on horseback and pushing to Biden Administration to end the ongoing use and weaponization of Title 42.
  • On July 7, 2022, Rep. Pressley and Haiti Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Andy Levin (MI-09), Val Demings (FL-10) and Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09) released a statement marking the one-year anniversary of the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse.
  • On November 21, 2021, Rep. Pressley and Senator Elizabeth Warren led the Massachusetts congressional delegation on a letter to the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) calling on them to coordinate with the government agencies of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to assist newly arrived families from Haiti.
  • On October 18, 2021, Rep. Pressley, and Haiti Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Val Demings (FL-10), Yvette Clarke (NY-09), and Andy Levin (MI-09) issued a statement following the kidnapping of American and Canadian missionaries in Haiti.
  • On October 18, 2021, Rep. Pressley issued a statement on the civil rights complaint filed by Haitian families demanding a federal investigation into the heinous actions perpetrated by federal officials at the border.
  • On October 22, 2021, Rep. Pressley, along with Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney, Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), and Reps. Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), sent a letter to Troy A. Miller, the Acting Administrator of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), demanding a briefing and answers regarding press reports of the inhumane treatment of migrants in Del Rio, Texas, by Border Patrol agents on horseback.
  • On September 17, 2021, Rep. Pressley and Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-07) led 52 of their colleagues calling 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.
  • On August 14, 2021, Rep. Pressley Yvette Clarke (NY-09), Andy Levin (MI-09) and Val Demings (FL-10) and Mondaire Jones (NY-17) released a statement regarding the recent earthquake in Haiti.
  • On July 14, 2021, Rep. Pressley and Haiti Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Yvette Clarke (NY-09), Andy Levin (MI-09) and Val Demings (FL-10) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas calling on him to take a series of steps to support the Haitian diaspora amid ongoing political turmoil in Haiti.
  • In July 2021, the Reps. Pressley, Clarke, Demings and Levin issued a statement condemning the assassination of President Moïse and calling for swift and decisive action to bring political stability and peace to Haiti and the Haitian people.
  • In May 2021, 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.

 

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