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Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr.                           
President of the United States 
White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500

Ambassador Susan Rice
Director of the Domestic Policy Council
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Jake Sullivan 
National Security Advisor
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas 
U.S. Department of Homeland Security 
3801 Nebraska Avenue NW 
Washington, D.C. 20016

The Honorable Antony Blinken 
Secretary of State 
U.S. Department of State 
2201 C Street, N.W 
Washington, D.C. 20520

Re: Halting Deportation Flights to Haiti

Dear President Biden, Secretary Mayorkas, Ambassador Rice, Advisor Sullivan, and Secretary Blinken:

Today, as Haitians struggle to cope with the deaths and consequences from the 7.2 earthquake on August 14, 2021, which caused large-scale damage across the country’s southern peninsula, the undersigned organizations ask your Administration to immediately halt all deportation and expulsion flights to Haiti; promptly return to the United States any Haitians who were eligible for Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”) and wrongly deported since May 21, 2021; explore other avenues of protection for Haitian immigrants including Deferred Enforced Departure (“DED”); expedite the release of Haitians detained in immigration facilities in the United States, Puerto Rico and other territories; and grant humanitarian parole to Haitians at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Your May 22 announcement redesignating Haiti for TPS was warranted by extraordinary conditions of insecurity, political upheaval and dysfunction, and violence, which made it impossible to return its nationals to safe conditions. The July 7 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse and now the massive earthquake are additional hammer blows.

August 14’s earthquake damaged or destroyed more than 120,000 homes, took over 2,200 lives, and injured more than 12,000 people. Hospitals are overwhelmed, buildings flattened, and bodies trapped under rubble. As the head of the Episcopal Church in Les Cayes, one of the main towns affected, said, “The streets are filled with screaming.” As we know from the 2010 earthquake that took approximately 200,000 lives, destroyed much of Port-au-Prince, and from which Haiti has still not fully recovered, it will take years for Haitians to recover from the earthquake. 

Starting on January 13, 2010, the day after the earthquake, the U.S. government halted all deportations to Haiti for about a year or longer. Removals were temporarily halted again in October 2016 after Hurricane Matthew’s devastation. The Biden Administration should now follow suit, prioritize humanitarian relief over enforcement, and instruct ICE to immediately suspend deportations and expulsions indefinitely.

Even before last week’s earthquake, according to Human Rights Watch’s 2021 World Report, Haiti has been experiencing one of the worst outbreaks of violence in decades, where “some 4.1 million Haitians—more than a third—live with food insecurity, and 2.1 percent of children suffer severe malnutrition.” Given these facts, the Administration rightfully redesignated Haiti for TPS on May 22, 2021. Following the assassination of President Moïse, activists wrote to extend further protection as experts warned that the political vacuum left by the President could exacerbate the current cycle of violence in Haiti. 

We welcomed the Administration’s extension of the eligibility date from May 21, 2021 to July 29, 2021, but are alarmed that flights returning them have proceeded. Earlier this month, two deportation flights left Texas for Haiti, returning approximately 130 individuals, including several children under the age of two-years old, just weeks after President Moïse’s assassination. Since February 1, 2021, the Administration sent at least 37 deportation flights to Haiti, even as your officials acknowledged internally that those being deported “may face harm” on return and the COVID-19 pandemic raged. By March, the Biden-Harris Administration had removed more Haitians since taking office than during all of fiscal year 2020. Many of the deportees must return to neighborhoods controlled by gangs with ongoing kidnappings, in an already unstable environment now further overwhelmed by Saturday’s calamity.

As stated by Secretary Mayorkas in his TPS announcement for Haiti, 

Haiti is currently experiencing serious security concerns, social unrest, an increase in human rights abuses, crippling poverty, and lack of basic resources, which are exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. . . . After careful consideration, we determined that we must do what we can to support Haitian nationals in the United States until conditions in Haiti improve so they may safely return home.

Unfortunately, those conditions have worsened as civil unrest has continued, adding to the July 7 assassination, COVID, and now August 14’s devastating earthquake and storm Grace. The judge tasked with overseeing the investigation of the President’s assassination recently resigned, underscoring the threat to judicial independence and the heightened level of fear amongst both ranking members of the Haitian government and civilians alike. 

Given these current extraordinary and temporary conditions in Haiti, we urge your Administration to halt all ICE removal and expulsion flights to Haiti immediately; return to the United States any Haitians who were eligible for TPS but were wrongly deported since May 22, 2021 (including on ICE’s July 6, August 10 and August 12 flights); extend the eligibility date for TPS explore other avenues of protection for Haitian immigrants including Deferred Enforced Departure (“DED”); expedite the release of Haitians detained in immigration facilities in the United States, Puerto Rico and other territories; and grant humanitarian parole to Haitians at the U.S.-Mexico border.

While Haiti’s redesignation for TPS will help promote the nation’s recovery and stability by preserving and increasing the flow of remittances to Haiti, deporting families to Haiti will only impede recovery. It will also severely undermine the Administration's promise to build a fairer and more inclusive immigration and asylum system for all.

In the statement issued after the August 14th earthquake, President Biden stated, "The United States remains a close and enduring friend to the people of Haiti, and we will be there in the aftermath of this tragedy." Being “there in the aftermath of this tragedy” cannot include the U.S. government causing additional harm to and pressure on an already-overburdened country and people by continuing deportations.

As the Haitian community and the world watches and waits for the Administration’s next move, we urge them to act with compassion and prioritize human lives over arbitrary enforcement.  


1.               Adelanto Visitation & Advocacy Network Adelanto Visitation & Advocacy Network

2.               Adhikaar for Human Rights & Social Justice

3.               ADL (the Anti-Defamation League)

4.               Advocate Visitors with Immigrants in Detention (AVID) in the Chihuahuan Desert

5.               Advocating Opportunity

6.               African Advocacy Network

7.               African Bureau for Immigration and Social Affairs

8.               African Communities Together

9.               African Public Affairs Committee

10.             AFSC Florida

11.             AJ Wilhelm Photography, LLC

12.             Al Otro Lado

13.             Aldea - The People's Justice Center

14.             Alianza Americas

15.             Alianza Nacional de Campesinas

16.             Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic, Yale Law School

17.             Alliance San Diego

18.             Alternative Chance

19.             America’s Voice

20.             American Civil Liberties Union

21.             American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)

22.             American Friends Service Committee

23.             American Humanist Association

24.             American Immigration Lawyers Association

25.             American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)

26.             Americans for Immigrant Justice

27.             Amnesty International USA

28.             Angry Tias & Abuelas

29.             Ansara Family Fund

30.             Ascension Lutheran Church

31.             Asian American Pacific Islander Christians for Social Justice (AAPI-CSJ)

32.             Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC

33.             ASISTA

34.             Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP)

35.             Author, Bradt Guide to Haiti

36.             Barrier Breaking Enterprises

37.             Bellevue Program for Survivors of Torture

38.             Beraca Baptist Church

39.             Bethesda Presbyterian Church

40.             Beyond Borders

41.             BIC

42.             Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI)

43.             Black Immigrant Collective (BIC)

44.             Bodler

45.             BORDER ANGELS

46.             Border Kindness

47.             Border Organizing Project

48.             Boston University School of Law Immigrants' Rights and Human Trafficking Program

49.             Bridges Faith Initiative

50.             Brockton Interfaith Community/ BIC Immigration Team

51.             Brooklyn Community Bail Fund (BCBF)

52.             California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice

53.             California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance

54.             Canopy NWA

55.             Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition

56.             Caribbean American Diaspora Alliance

57.             Casa Yurumein

58.             Catholic Charities of Southern New Mexico

59.             Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.

60.             Catholic Legal Services, Archdiocese of Miami

61.             Center for American Progress

62.             Center for Constitutional Rights

63.             Center for Gender & Refugee Studies

64.             Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law

65.             Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)

66.             Center for Popular Democracy

67.             Central American Resource Center - CARECEN- of California

68.             Central American Resource Center (CARECEN-LA)

69.             Central American Resource Center of Northern CA -CARECEN SF

70.             Central AZ National Lawyers Guild

71.             Centro Legal de la Raza

72.             Centro San Bonifacio

73.             Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America - CRLN

74.             Church of the Brethren, Office of Peacebuilding and Policy

75.             Church World Service

76.             Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA)

77.             Coalition on Human Needs

78.             Columbia Law School Immigrants' Rights Clinic

79.             Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador, CISPES

80.             Community Lawyering Clinic at Southwestern Law School

81.             Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto

82.             Community Powerhouse Consulting & Coaching, LLC


84.             COPAL (Comunidades Organizando el Poder y la Acción Latina)

85.             Creative Exchanges Initiative (CEI)

86.             CRECEN

87.             De Anda Law Firm

88.             Detention Watch Network

89.             Diaspora Community Services

90.             Dignity Rights International

91.             Disciples Immigration Legal Counsel

92.             Disciples of Christ Church

93.             Disciples Refugee & Immigration Ministries

94.             Dominican Development Center, Inc

95.             Durango Unido en Chicago

96.             Education and Leadership Foundation

97.             Eglise Pentecotiste Pecheurs d'Hommes

98.             Emmanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church of Eastmont

99.             Environmental Justice Initiative for Haiti

100.          EqualHealth

101.          Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project, Catholic Charities of Los Angeles


103.          Faith in Action

104.          Faith in Florida

105.          Faith in New Jersey

106.          Faith in New York

107.          Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement

108.          Familias Unidas en Acción

109.          Families for Freedom

110.          Family Action Network Movement (FANM)

111.          Farmworker Association of Florida

112.          Felliatre. France 🇫🇷

113.          First Focus on Children

114.          Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project

115.          Florida Immigrant Coalition

116.          Fondasyon Mapou

117.          Forest Hill Christian Church

118.          Franciscan Network on Migration

119.          Free Migration Project

120.          Free Them All San Diego

121.          Freedom for Immigrants

122.          Freedom Network USA

123.          Freedom to Thrive

124.          Friends of Matènwa

125.          Gender Action

126.          Global Justice Clinic, Washington Square Legal Services

127.          Global Rights Advocacy

128.          Global Youth Revival Network

129.          Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

130.          Groupe d'Appui au Développement et à la Démocratie (GRADE)

131.          Haiti Cultural Exchange

132.          Haiti Justice Alliance

133.          Haiti Now (Ayiti Now Corp)

134.          Haiti Response Coalition

135.          Haiti Solidarity Network of the North East

136.          Haiti Support Group

137.          Haitian American Voter Empowerment

138.          Haitian American Voters Empowerment Coalition (HAVE Coalition)

139.          Haitian Bridge Alliance

140.          Haitian Studies Association

141.          Haitian Women’s Collective

142.          Haitian-American Diaspora Council

143.          HIAS Pennsylvania

144.          Hispanic Federation

145.          Homies Unidos Inc


147.          Hope Border Institute

148.          Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative

149.          Human Rights Clinic, Inter-American University of Puerto Rico, School of Law

150.          Human Rights First

151.          Human Rights Initiative of North Texas

152.          Human Rights Watch

153.          Hyattsville Mennonite Church

154.          IDETTE-Haiti

155.          IKAR

156.          Immigrant Action Alliance

157.          Immigrant and Non-Citizen Rights Clinic, CUNY School of Law

158.          Immigrant Defenders Law Center

159.          Immigrant Defense Project

160.          Immigrant Justice Advocacy Movement

161.          Immigrant Justice Network

162.          Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota

163.          Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project

164.          Immigrant Legal Resource Center

165.          Immigration Equality

166.          Immigration Hub

167.          Immigration Rights Activists

168.          Indivisible

169.          Indivisible Hawaii

170.          Infinite Creative Lit Ltd. Co.

171.          Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice

172.          Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH)

173.          Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity

174.          Interfaith Refugee & Immigration Service

175.          International Detention Coalition (IDC)

176.          International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP)

177.          International Rescue Committee

178.          ISLA: Immigration Services and Legal Advocacy

179.          Jakmel Ekspresyon

180.          Japanese American Citizens League

181.          Jewish Activists for Immigration Justice of Western MA

182.          Jewish Coalition Assisting Refugees & Immigrants - Los Angeles

183.          Jewish Family & Community Services - East Bay

184.          JPIC Committee - Religious of Jesus & Mary, USA/Haiti Province

185.          Just Futures Law

186.          Just Haiti, Inc

187.          Justice Action Center

188.          Justice and Diversity Center of the Bar Association of San Francisco

189.          Justice in Motion

190.          Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)

191.          La Raza Centro Legal, San Francisco

192.          La Raza Community Resource Center

193.          LA RED, Faith in Action

194.          La Resistencia

195.          La Troupe Makandal

196.          Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center

197.          Latin America Working Group (LAWG)

198.          Latinas en Poder

199.          Law Office of Helen Lawrence

200.          Li Li Li Read

201.          Lila LGBTQ Inc.

202.          Long Beach Immigrant Rights Coalition

203.          Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy

204.          Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice

205.          Louisiana Advocates for Immigrants in Detention

206.          Loyola Law School - Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic

207.          Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service

208.          Make the Road New York

209.          Mala Forever

210.          Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition

211.          Memphis United Methodist Immigrant Fund

212.          Mennonite Central Committee U.S.

213.          Mercy Beyond Borders

214.          MH Global Immigration & Mobility Consulting

215.          Michigan People's Campaign

216.          Migrant Center for Human Rights

217.          Mijente

218.          Mississippi Center for Justice

219.          Mixteco Indigena Community Organizing Project

220.          MomsRising/MamásConPoder

221.          Morongo Basin Coalition for Social Justice

222.          MoveOn

223.          NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

224.          National Association of Social Workers

225.          National Center for Parent Leadership, Advocacy, and Community Empowerment

     (National PLACE)

226.          National Conference of Black Lawyers

227.          National Education Association

228.          National Employment Law Project

229.          National Hispanic Media Coalition

230.          National Immigrant Justice Center

231.          National Immigration Law Center

232.          National Immigration Litigation Alliance

233.          National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice

234.          National Lawyers Guild

235.          National Lawyers Guild - Haiti Sub-Committee

236.          National Lawyers Guild International Committee

237.          National Network for Immigrant & Refugee Rights

238.          National Partnership for New Americans

239.          Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA)

240.          NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice

241.          New Jersey Forum for Human Rights

242.          New York Immigration Coalition

243.          Nikkei Progressives

244.          Nommel gobble

245.          North Carolina Justice Center

246.          Northwest Immigrant Rights Project

247.          Northwest United Protestant Church

248.          Noupapdòmi

249.          NYU Immigrant Rights Clinic

250.          OBMICA

251.          Observatorio de adolescentes y jóvenes - IIGG-UBA

252.          Office of New Americans of Miami-Dade

253.          Ohio Immigrant Alliance

254.          ONECA

255.          Open Door Legal

256.          Open Immigration Legal Services

257.          Or Shalom Jewish Community (SF)

258.          Orange County Congregation Community Organization

259.          Orange County Equality Coalition

260.          Orange County Justice Fund

261.          Orange County Rapid Response Network

262.          Oregon Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice

263.          Organization for the Rehabilitation of the Environment

264.          Oxfam America

265.          Pangea Legal Services

266.          Pars Equality Center

267.          Pax Christi New Jersey

268.          People’s Budget Orange County

269.          Poder Latinx

270.          Presbyterian Church (USA)


272.          Priority Africa Network

273.          Program for Torture Victims (PTVLA)

274.          Project Blueprint

275.          Public Counsel

276.          Public Interest Resource Center, Fordham Law School

277.          Public Law Center

278.          Quixote Center

279.          Racine Interfaith Coalition

280.          RAICES

281.          Rainbow Beginnings

282.          Rapid Defense Network (RDN)

283.          Refugee Congress

284.          Refugee Health Alliance

285.          Religious of Jesus and Mary

286.          Resilient Sisterhood Project

287.          Respond Crisis Translation

288.          Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights

289.          Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network

290.          Roots of Development

291.          San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium

292.          San Francisco Public Defender

293.          Si


295.          Sisters of Mercy of the Americas Justice Team

296.          SoCal Presbyterian Immigrant Accompaniment

297.          South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)

298.          Southern Border Communities Coalition

299.          Southern Poverty Law Center

300.          SSND Atlantic Midwest JPIC Dept

301.          St. Peters Lutheran Church  Harwich, MA

302.          Strength in Unity Global: a Haitian Coalition

303.          Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL)

304.          Tahirih Justice Center

305.          Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition

306.          Texas Civil Rights Project

307.          The Advocates for Human Rights

308.          The Black Collective

309.          The Children's Partnership

310.          The Haitian American Nurses Association Incorporated

311.          The Inland Empire Immigrant Youth Collective

312.          The Law Offices Of Lacey N. Sipsey

313.          The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

314.          The Orange County Peace Coalition

315.          The Resurrection Project

316.          The United Methodist Church - General Board of Church and Society

317.          Transformations CDC

318.          Tsuru for Solidarity

319.          U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI)

320.          UndocuBlack Network

321.          Union for Reform Judaism

322.          Unitarian Universalist Service Committee

323.          Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice

324.          UNITE HERE

325.          United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries

326.          United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 1445

327.          United Stateless

328.          United We Dream Network

329.          University Christian Church

330.          University of Glasgow

331.          Unlocking Communities

332.          Vecindarios901

333.          Voces Unidas: Louisiana Immigrants Rights Coalition

334.          Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)

335.          We Are All America

336.          Win Without War

337.          Wind of the Spirit Immigrant Resource Center

338.          Witness at the Border

339.          Women Working Together USA

340.          Women's Refugee Commission

341.          Working Families United

342.          Yalla Indivisible

343.          Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights

344.          Zanmi Lakay



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