The Archbishop of Miami, Thomas Wenski, has written an open letter appealing to US federal authorities to refrain from deporting Haitians.
In a recent letter, the Archbishop called for an immediate end to deportations in the midst of the current political turmoil in the country.
“The return of these people to their country is not only contrary to our national values, but it is also unnecessary to ensure public health and safety in the United States and could contribute to further destabilization,” said the Archbishop who added that the continuation of deportations to Haiti, risks favoring the spread of the coronavirus both among passengers on flights departing from the United States and among citizens residing on the island.”
Recalling that the Archdiocese of Miami has “the largest percentage of Americans of Haitian origin in the United States”, Bishop Wenski emphasizes that they “are also essential workers, who support our Nation in these difficult times and contribute to its recovery” calling on President Joe Biden to keep his promise to “adopt a more humane approach to immigrants and refugees.”
Wenski suggested that Haitian migrants present in the United States be granted “Temporary Protected Status” (TPS) allowing them to work in the country during a period during which it is considered dangerous for them to return to their home country. This particular designation is valid for eighteen months and can be renewed if the conditions which motivated it are still in place at the time of its expiration.
At the same time, Wenski encouraged the American authorities to “consider long-term measures that will reduce the need for migration” of Haitians, as well as “to take better care of those present in the United States.”