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April 18, 2024

Pressley, Haiti Caucus Co-Chairs Urge Reauthorization of Haiti Trade Preference Programs

Letter to Ways and Means Committee Emphasizes Support for HOPE/HELP

Text of Letter (PDF)

WASHINGTON – Haiti Caucus Co-Chairs Congresswomen Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D-FL), and Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY) led a letter to House Ways and Means Committee leadership emphasizing support for the early renewal of the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement (HOPE) and the Haiti Economic Lift Program (HELP) Acts, commonly known as HOPE/HELP. The HOPE/HELP program allows duty-free access for certain apparel and textile products from Haiti to the U.S. market.

“Now more than ever is the time to help stabilize Haiti and save lives – that includes supporting its economic growth and critical trade sectors,” said Congresswoman Pressley. “The Haitian people have suffered deeply and to allow HOPE/HELP to expire would be a drastic disservice to their livelihood. I am proud to join my fellow co-chairs in calling for the reauthorization of these vital programs and preserving our longstanding trade partnership with our Haitian neighbors.”

“HOPE/HELP plays a critical role in driving economic expansion in Haiti’s garment industry and fostering employment in the country,” said Congresswoman Cherfilus-McCormick. “In these uncertain times for Haiti, it is imperative that we uphold and continue this vital program to ensure Haiti’s continued economic progress and stability.”

“With the ongoing security crisis confronting Haiti, it is critical Haiti’s economy has the support needed to endure this challenging period in its history. Make no mistake – the swift renewal of HOPE/HELP is essential for Haiti’s post-crisis recovery and the future of its communities,” said Congresswoman Clarke. “Allowing Haiti’s apparel industry to lose necessary support in this moment of uncertainty would only serve to pull the rug out from under Haiti’s economy and instill further hardship on a nation that has already suffered dearly. Haiti and its people remain cherished allies of the United States, and that is why I am proud to stand with my fellow Co-Chairs of the Haiti Caucus to call for the continued funding of these vital programs.”

HOPE/HELP is due to expire in September 2025, a little over a year from now.  As a result of these programs, apparel exports have grown to over $1 billion, representing over 80% of Haiti’s total exports.

While the security crisis has justifiably received the most attention, the House Haiti Caucus recognizes the essential importance of maintaining Haiti’s formal economy.  Immediate reauthorization of HOPE/HELP ranks as one of the top policy priorities that the United States can do to help Haiti at this moment in time. 

Additional signatories of the letter include Reps. Alma Adams (D-NC), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Gerald Connolly (D-VA), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Maxwell Alejandro Frost (D-FL), Dan Goldman (D-NY), Jonathan Jackson (D-IL), Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-CA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Michael Lawler (R-NY), Andre Carson (D-IN).

A copy of the letter text can be found here.

As Representative for the Massachusetts 7th Congressional District, Congresswoman Pressley serves as Co-Chair for the House Haiti Caucus and represents one of the largest Haitian diaspora communities 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.

  • On April 12, 2024, Rep. Pressley joined Haitian-led activists, organizations, and a directly impacted person in Haiti for a press call urging federal action to address the worsening humanitarian crisis in Haiti.
  • On March 27, 2024, Rep. Pressley joined Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and her colleagues on the Massachusetts congressional delegation in urging the Biden Administration to expedite visa processing for Haitians, particularly  for relatives of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.
  • On March 12, 2024, Rep. Pressley and Haiti Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Cherfilus McCormick and Yvette Clarke issued a statement on the resignation of Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry.
  • On March 6, 2024, Rep. Pressley issued a statement on the recent jailbreak and State of Emergency in Haiti.
  • On December 8, 2023, Rep. Pressley and Congresswoman Yvette Clarke urged the U.S. Department of State to withdraw U.S. support for an armed foreign intervention in Haiti and encourage negotiations for a Haitian-led democratic political transition.
  • On December 6, 2022, Rep. Pressley issued a statement applauding the Biden Administration’s extension and re-designation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti.
  • On December 1, 2022, Rep. Pressley, Rep. Cori Bush, and Rep. Mondaire Jones led 14 of their colleagues on a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas urging the Department to extend and redesignate Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
  • On August 17, 2022, Rep. Pressley, along with Haiti Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Val Demings, Yvette Clarke, 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.
  • On May 31, 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. 
  • On May 26, 2022, Rep. Pressley, along with with Representatives Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Andy Levin (MI-09), Jim McGovern (MA-02), and Frederica Wilson (FL-24), led a letter to United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Power urging her to act to ensure food security in Haiti.
  • In February 2022, 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.
  • On March 16, 2022, Rep. Pressley and Rep. Mondaire Jones called on Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky to fully end Title 42, cease deportations of people to Haiti and affirm their legal and fundamental human right to seek asylum.
  • On February 16, 2022, Rep. Pressley joined Congresswoman Cori Bush (MO-01), Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), and 100 House and Senate colleagues in urging President Biden to reverse inhumane immigration policies – such as Title 42, originally introduced under the Trump Administration – that continue to disproportionately harm Black migrants.
  • On February 14, 2022, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), alongside Representatives Judy Chu (CA-27) and Nydia Velázquez (NY-07), led 33 other House Democrats on a letter to Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 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.
  • In April 2022, she joined her colleagues at a press conference reaffirming her support for President Biden’s decision to end Title 42. Full video of her remarks at the press conference is available here. Rep. Pressley applauded the Biden Administration’s end of Title 42 in a statement in April 2022.
  • In September 2022, 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. 
  • In September 2022, 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.
  • On July 7, 2022, Rep. Pressley and Haiti Caucus Co-Chairs 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.
  • On November 21, 2021, Rep. Pressley and Senator Elizabeth Warren led the Massachusetts congressional delegation on a letter to the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) calling on them to coordinate with the government agencies of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to assist newly arrived families from Haiti. 
  • On October 18, 2021, Rep. Pressley, and Haiti Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Val Demings (FL-10), Yvette Clarke (NY-09), and Andy Levin (MI-09) issued a statement following the kidnapping of American and Canadian missionaries in Haiti.
  • On October 18, 2021, Rep. Pressley issued a statement on the civil rights complaint filed by Haitian families demanding a federal investigation into the heinous actions perpetrated by federal officials at the border.
  • On October 22, 2021, Rep. Pressley, along with Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney, Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), and Reps. Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), sent a letter to Troy A. Miller, the Acting Administrator of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), demanding a briefing and answers regarding press reports of the inhumane treatment of migrants in Del Rio, Texas, by Border Patrol agents on horseback. 
  • On September 17, 2021, Rep. Pressley and Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-07) led 52 of their colleagues calling on the Biden Administration to immediately halt deportations to Haiti and take urgent action to address the concerns of the Haitian Diaspora after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake devastated Haiti.
  • On August 14, 2021, Rep. Pressley Yvette Clarke (NY-09), Andy Levin (MI-09) and Val Demings (FL-10) and Mondaire Jones (NY-17) released a statement regarding the recent earthquake in Haiti.
  • On July 14, 2021, Rep. Pressley and Haiti Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Yvette Clarke (NY-09), Andy Levin (MI-09) and Val Demings (FL-10) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas calling on him to take a series of steps to support the Haitian diaspora amid ongoing political turmoil in Haiti.
  • In July 2021, the Reps. Pressley, Clarke, Demings and Levin issued a statement condemning the assassination of President Moïse and calling for swift and decisive action to bring political stability and peace to Haiti and the Haitian people.
  • In May 2021, on Haitian Flag Day, Reps. Pressley, Levin, Clarke and Demings announced the formation of the House Haiti Caucus, a Congressional caucus dedicated to pursuing a just foreign policy that puts the needs and aspirations of the Haitian people first.