December 1, 2022
Pressley, Bush, Jones Lead Letter Urging Biden Administration to Extend and Redesignate Haiti for TPS
WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Congresswoman Cori Bush (MO-01), and Congressman Mondaire Jones (NY-17) led 14 of their colleagueson a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas urging the Department to extend and redesignate Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
“Given the deteriorating situation in Haiti, this Administration should prioritize humanitarian relief, especially given the positive impact that extending and redesignating Haiti for TPS will have for our nation,” the lawmakers wrote. “As Haitians face an unprecedented crisis in their home country, we strongly urge the Administration to extend the 2021 designation and redesignate Haiti for TPS, swiftly release the Federal Register Notice, and provide a minimum 180-day registration period for both current TPS holders and new beneficiaries under redesignation.”
Haiti is currently experiencing one of its worst outbreaks of violence in decades. Gang blockades at a fuel terminal left Haitians without essential supplies they need to survive. Haitian nationals in the U.S. who fled violence, persecution, and poverty have faced numerous barriers imposed by the Administration. Extending and redesignating Haiti for TPS would help protect Haitians against deportation, and enable them to work and travel in the U.S.
A copy of the letter can be found here.
Joining Representatives Pressley, Bush and Jones on the letter are Representatives Troy Carter, Kathy Castor, Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, Yvette Clarke, Val Demings, Jesús “Chuy” García, Barbara Lee, Zoe Lofgren, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Jan Schakowsky, Mikie Sherill, Darren Soto, Rashida Tlaib, and Bonnie Watson Coleman.
Massachusetts is home to the third largest Haitian diaspora community 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.
As a founding co-chair of the House Haiti Caucus, Rep. Pressley has been an outspoken critic of the Title 42 policy, which has been weaponized to deny migrants—including Haitian and other Black migrants—their legal right to claim asylum in the United States.
- In October 2022, Rep. Pressley, Joy-Ann Reid, Boston City Councilor At-Large Ruthzee Louijeune, and advocates hosted a policy discussion on Black immigrant justice.
- On September 20, 2022 Rep. Pressley joined Senator Elizabeth Warren and her colleagues in the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation in urging the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to expedite assistance to entities providing humanitarian aid to migrants arriving in Boston and flown to Martha’s Vineyard, including the Boston medical institutions receiving Haitian migrants.
- On September 14, 2022, in a Financial Services Committee hearing, Rep. Pressley highlighted the devastating impact of declining banking relationships with Caribbean countries, including Haiti.
- In August 2022, Congresswoman Pressley, along with Reps. Val Demings (FL-10), Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09), 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.
- In July 2022, Rep. Pressley and 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.
- In May 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.
- In February, 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.
- Rep. Pressley has consistently called on the Department of Homeland Security to end the practice of expelling migrants under Title 42 and to employ alternative forms of humanitarian relief for detainees subject to deportation for the remainder of the pandemic.
- In September, 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.
- 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.