On Saturday, President Biden fulfilled his campaign promise to the Haitian community and redesignated Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Haiti, allowing Haitian nationals in the United States to remain with their families without the risk of deportation. Today, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) joined civil rights and labor leaders in a press conference to commend the administration for ensuring the safety of Haitians in the United States and continue to echo the call to advance permanent protections for more immigrant communities and pass the Dream and Promise Act, which would create a path to citizenship for Dreamers and TPS holders.
TPS for Haitians is critical to keeping families together and safe. TPS will offer relief to countless families in America who are integral to communities and the nation’s recovery.
Wade Henderson, interim president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights stated today, “We applaud Secretary Mayorkas and the Biden administration for addressing the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Haiti and for honoring their pledge to reinstate Temporary Protected Status for Haitian refugees. This important step is long overdue and the right thing to do. Congress must continue to substantively address systemic anti-Black racism in all forms and take the president’s efforts even further by providing a permanent pathway to citizenship that respects the dignity of all people living in our country. Lives are at stake, and their status cannot linger any longer.”
Senate Majority Leader Schumer also stated, “President Biden has delivered on his promise to the Haitian community and now families all over America can sleep in peace without fear of deportation. I am proud to have fought alongside countless advocates to ensure this victory redesignating TPS for Haiti but our work is far from over. After the cruelty under the Trump administration, we are moving forward toward fixing our immigration system and providing permanent protections for TPS holders. Haiti remains a symbol of freedom, self-determination and independence for so many people in New York around the world. As long as I am in the Senate, the Haitian people will always have a friend in Congress and I will continue to join you in celebrating the great contributions of Haitian Americans to our culture and our society.”
“This victory is really due to the indefatigable efforts; the organizing, the mobilizing by grassroots activists in the Haitian community, as well as our immigration, civil rights and labor advocates who’ve refused to take their feet off the gas throughout this fight,” added Rep. Ayanna Pressley (MA-07). “As the representative of the Massachusetts 7th congressional district, which is home to the third largest Haitian community in the country, I get to see daily the contributions of the Haitian community to our cultural and economic fabric. I am very proud to represent this many Haitian-Americans in my district, and I am grateful for all of the advocates in the district who have been my teachers and have worked alongside me to do the work of repairing what is a woefully broken immigration system. When it comes to TPS, let me make it plain: there is nothing temporary about people who have been contributing to civic and political life, to our cultural vibrancy, to our economy, to our healthcare system, to our community for decades and generations. It is time that we as lawmakers demonstrate our gratitude for the Haitian community. There is nothing charitable or benevolent — this is reciprocity and thanks for the many contributions of the Haitian community, and that gratitude must be reflected in our policies and budgets.”
Guerline Jozef, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Haitian Bridge Alliance stated, “Today, we are extremely overjoyed at the news of over 150,000 of my Haitian brothers and sisters who will be able to work with dignity to provide for their families, away from fear of deportation, and away from the continued cloud of persecution that we have been seeing in our community. We acknowledge, we applaud, and we welcome this news from the Administration. We thank President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas for making true the promises that were made to the community. Over 100,000 people will sleep well tonight. We still have a lot of work to do. We must end Title 42. We must stop deportations to Haiti as we continue to see turmoil on the ground. We are currently dealing with the second wave of COVID-19 in Haiti. We cannot, and we must not, allow the cruelty from the previous Administration to continue. As we say in Haiti, anpil men, chay pa lou – which means many hands lighten the load. Today, we celebrate the victory but the fight continues.”
“On behalf of SEIU’s 2 million members, I am grateful to President Biden’s administration for extending TPS to Haitians who will now be able to remain here safely, free from fear of deportation,” said Mary Kay Henry, SEIU International President. “This includes many healthcare workers who cared for us during a deadly pandemic, farm workers who put food on our tables, and airport workers who kept common spaces sanitized, all of whom deserve to be respected, protected and paid. This is a significant step toward a more humane immigration system and we call on Congress to build on this and deliver a path to citizenship for all 11 million undocumented immigrants.”
Raymond Audain, Senior Counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, stated, “We are incredibly grateful that the Biden administration has redesignated Haiti for temporary protected status and members of the Haitian TPS community, their families, and their loved ones have the stability they’ve been longing for for the past four years. While it is clear that conditions in Haiti justify redesignation, it is also important to remember how we got here. We’re here because of a 2017 Trump administration decision that was plainly rooted in bigotry, occasioned lawsuits around the country, and reflected a long, unfortunate history of discrimination against Haitian immigrants. As one of the many lawyers litigating one of the many TPS cases around the country, I want to commend the administration for keeping its promise and helping to protect thousands upon thousands of Haitian families all over the United States. We look forward to working with the administration to advance permanent protections and racial equity in all aspects of American life.”