Resuming Deportation Flights to Haiti is Unconscionable and Shameful

AI Justice responds to today’s deportation flight to Cap-Haitien 

For Immediate Release
April 18, 2024
Contact: [email protected]

Miami, FL—Today, the U.S. government deported 74 individuals back to Haiti against the advisal of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the urging of over 480 immigration, human rights, faith-based and civil rights organizations.  

“We are profoundly heartbroken by the U.S. government’s decision to return these individuals to Haiti because we know, based on recent events, that the life and wellbeing of each person forcibly returned today is at risk,” said Cindy Woods, National Policy Counsel at Americans for Immigrant Justice. “Given that the Biden Administration is well aware of the unsafe and dire conditions throughout the country, resuming deportation flights to Haiti is unconscionable and shameful. What will it take for our government to begin valuing Haitian lives?”  

“My client was on that flight. He lived in the U.S. for over 20 years and has a 7-year-old U.S. citizen daughter,” said Philip Issa, attorney at Americans for Immigrant Justice. “He applied for asylum 20 years ago but was ordered deported in 2005 because he didn’t have competent legal representation. It’s unbelievably heartless for our government to deport my client without granting him the opportunity to reopen his case, especially now when Haiti is effectively a war zone. He’s a beloved father, a fiancée, and a decades-long Florida resident. He’s made contributions to our state and country. What national interest is served by tearing apart our families and communities to deport our neighbors back to Haiti? It’s hugely disappointing for the Biden administration to behave so cynically.” 

Calls for a moratorium on forced returns to Haiti have been ongoing for months, as the country’s humanitarian and security crisis has continued to worsen. In addition to immediately halting removals to Haiti, there is broad consensus regarding additional steps the Administration could immediately take to protect Haitians currently in the US or seeking safety from abroad, including extending and redesignating Temporary Protected Status for Haiti and expanding and expediting the Haitian humanitarian parole process.