Washington, DC – Horrified by the Biden administration’s escalation of Haitian deportations and expulsions and the inhumane treatment of Haitians by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the U.S. southern border, 177 faith organizations and 1,947 faith leaders and people of faith from 49 states, the District of Columbia, and Haiti sent a letter to the Biden Administration today urging them to stop deportation flights to Haiti, hold CBP officers accountable for their abuses, end Title 42 expulsions, and pursue all administrative actions to provide humanitarian protections for Haitians.
Haitian asylum seekers and migrants, civil rights leaders, advocates, and faith leaders will be joined by Rep. Judy Chu in front of the White House (Lafayette Square), on September 29 at 12 PM ET, to take prophetic action in solidarity with migrants denied access to protection by the Biden administration. Lifting up the demands and testimonies of directly impacted asylum seekers, the action will echo a binational march that took place on September 25 in Nogales, AZ and amplify the #SaveAsylum Campaign’s week of action just days before the CDC is to reassess the Title 42 public health order.
Livestream will be available.
Despite widespread outcry from advocates and the president’s own condemnation of the abuses at the hands of CBP, daily expulsions to Haiti have continued, with 43 flights since September 19. And while the camp under the bridge in Del Rio has been forcibly emptied, the dire situation of Haitians seeking asylum and the inhumane expulsions remain the same, and risk losing public attention. Holding to their faith convictions to welcome the vulnerable and following the leadership of Black-led organizations, faith organizations and people of faith from across the country call out the administration’s empty words and lift their voices in solidarity with Haitian migrants.
They write, “Haitian asylum-seekers are not only pursuing what is their legal right. They are also challenging us all to live in full alignment with our religious and spiritual values, which implore us to welcome the stranger and not to turn our back on those in need. Late last month President Biden stated that, “human rights must be at the center of our foreign policy, not the periphery.” Yet the expulsion of Haitian immigrants from the U.S. southern border illustrates just the opposite. We must back up bold statements with actions.
We strongly stand by the words of Haitian Bridge Alliance Executive Director, Guerline Josef, who said, “We are in utter disbelief that the Biden Administration would deport Haitians now. Hours after the 7.2 magnitude earthquake, President Joe Biden released a statement saying that the United States was a ‘friend’ of Haiti. A ‘friend’ does not continuously inflict pain on another friend.”
The deportation flights must end. The use of Title 42 to justify those expulsions must end. The U.S. must renew TPS designation for Haiti to more expansively ensure the safety of those who need it.
We honor the determination, dignity, and resilience of Haitians in the camps under the Del Rio bridge who have journeyed to the U.S. border believing in the promise of safety and opportunity. As people of faith we hear the cry of the forsaken and vulnerable. We answer back, and urge you to join us.
The Interfaith Immigration Coalition is made up of over 55 national, faith-based organizations brought together across many theological traditions with a common call to seek just policies that lift up the God-given dignity of every individual. In partnership, we work to protect the rights, dignity, and safety of all refugees and migrants. Follow us on Twitter @interfaithimm