CRLAF Calls for Humane Treatment of Haitians Seeking Safety in the United States
Sacramento, CA (September 22, 2021) – The United States of America has long stood as a beacon of hope for those seeking safe harbor from harrowing conditions in their home countries. This ideal is enshrined in our humanitarian and immigration laws, which ensure a fair, compassionate, and safe process for those seeking asylum. The inhumane treatment of Haitians at the hands of those tasked with upholding these protections is not only heartbreaking and unjust, but an unconscionable contradiction of everything our country is meant to represent: equitable and compassionate treatment under the law regardless of race, color, or background.
California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation (CRLAF) stands with Haitian refugees and joins the many advocates and organizations denouncing the recent and planned acts of the Biden Administration—including mass deportations that circumvent due process and the vicious treatment of asylum seekers at the hands of Customs and Border Protection —that violate human and civil rights of countless Haitian refugees.
We join the chorus of voices demanding that the Biden Administration immediately end these illegal and horrifying acts, and to honor the rights of all those seeking refuge in the U.S. with the respect we would all hope to be afforded if we were in the same position as these refugees.
The Biden Administration itself has formally recognized the dangerous and unstable conditions that currently exist in Haiti after recent civil unrest and compounding natural disasters have devastated the country.
“Given that the federal government has just recently granted Haiti a designation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which affirms the reality that it is unsafe for Haitians already in the U.S. to return, it is incomprehensible that federal agents are now cruelly expelling hundreds of infants, children, and other vulnerable individuals and families without even affording them the opportunity to exercise their legal and humanitarian right to request asylum,” said Amagda Pérez, CRLAF’s Executive Director.
“The government must abide by international human rights law and its asylum obligations, even when our system is overburdened; indeed, it is in those moments that we must expand our capacity to meet the need, rather than turn our backs on those whom we have pledged to protect.”