Two immigration advocacy groups in the United States are calling on newly-elected President Joe Biden to intervene immediately in stopping what they described as the mass deportation of Haitians.
The New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC), an umbrella policy and advocacy organization for more than 200 groups in New York State, and the Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees said that, since February 1, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has deported roughly 300 Haitians.
The group said “another shameful 1800 deportations” are expected in the next two weeks.
“ICE’s aggressive approach is in line with the Trump-era policy of targeting Black migrants,” said the groups in a statement, demanding “the immediate intervention from the Biden White House.”
“It’s no surprise that ICE kicked off Black History Month by terrorizing Black immigrants and tearing apart their families,” said Murad Awawdeh and Rovika Rajkishun, interim co-executive directors of the New York Immigration Coalition.
“But the Trump-era is over, and the Biden administration must rein in this rogue agency,” Awawdeh and Rajkishun continued. “As the organization representing the state with one of the oldest and largest Haitian communities in the country, the New York Immigration Coalition demands that President Biden immediately end these deportation flights to keep New York families together, especially during a public health crisis.”
Ninaj Raoul, executive director, Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees, said: “We at Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees are outraged by the discriminatory deportations that continue to be carried out by ICE amid a global pandemic, a serious political crisis in Haiti, and a surge in kidnapping terrorism by government-backed gangs.
“In the same week that President Biden signed an executive order to launch a task force to reunite families separated by the Trump administration, this White House is deporting Haitians, including children and infants in record numbers. This is a cruel contradiction that will further separate many families,” Raoul said.
“These deportations are wrongheaded, and current plans to deport 1800 more Haitians to Haiti in the next two weeks must be stopped now.”
The reported mass deportation comes as a major Haitian immigration advocacy group in Miami in mid-December wholeheartedly welcomed the United States’ extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nationals from Haiti until October 4, 2021.
The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced in December that it was also extending TPS, until the same time, for beneficiaries from El Salvador, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua and Sudan.
In addition to scores of Haitians, 15 Jamaicans and 269 people to Guatemala and Honduras were deported within the last two weeks, with more deportation flights being scheduled for this week.