FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 4, 2022
Haitian Bridge Alliance, National Immigration Law Center, and 287 Organizations Call on Biden Administration to Reject Plans to House Haitian Refugees in Guantánamo Bay
WASHINGTON — Haitian Bridge Alliance, the National Immigration Law Center, and over 280 civil and human rights organizations sent a letter calling on President Biden to protect Haitian asylum seekers. The administration must not send Haitians seeking safety back to Haiti, third countries, or detain them in Guantánamo Bay.
The letter, published today by the Haitian Bridge Alliance and NILC, outlines the United States’ pattern of disparate and discriminatory treatment towards Haitian refugees seeking protection and the prior human rights abuses that Haitians previously suffered from while detained at Guantánamo Bay. The letter also details concrete steps the Biden administration can take to protect Haitian asylum seekers, uphold human rights, and follow through on commitments to advance racial equity.
“It is past time for the United States, and the Biden administration, to pursue these rights-respecting actions, and end the pattern of discriminatory and disparate treatment inflicted on Haitians seeking U.S. protection,” the letter states. “During your administration, Haitians have been met with summary push-backs at the hands of the U.S. Coast Guard. People have died and continue to die at sea while seeking protection at U.S. shores. Rather than protecting them, the United States further victimizes these individuals by returning them to danger.”
The letter continues, “Your administration has the power to turn the page on these harmful and discriminatory policies. We urge you to do right by Haitian people seeking protection, whether by land or at sea, to live up to our humanitarian obligations, and build an equitable humanitarian protection system that welcomes those seeking refuge.”
A PDF of the full letter and signatories can be found here.