By: Anoa Changa, NewsOne
Concerns about the U.S. deportation of Haitians continues as the country grapples with internal strife and unrest. In a bipartisan show of support, Sens. Robert Menendez and Marco Rubio urged the Biden administration to stop the deportations given Haiti’s current state of affairs. In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, the senators called for Haitians in the U.S. to remain under the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation. “Haiti’s protracted political crisis exacerbates the severe and prolonged humanitarian needs sparked by the 2010 earthquake,” wrote the senators. The senators say the move would cover up to 55,000 Haitians in the U.S., including current TPS recipients. The National Immigration Center reported the number of asylum requests processed has dropped dramatically while deportations surge. In response to immigration advocates, the Biden administration announced it would review the use of the Title 42 program. But deportations have continued. As previously reported by NewsOne, immigration and human rights advocates demanded the Biden Administration stop deporting Haitians given the well-documented instability in the country. Homeland Security has previously acknowledged the likelihood of harm to Haitians sent back to the island nation. One of four witnesses to give testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, Emmanuela Douyon of Nou Pap Dòmi said she remained hopeful the Biden Administration would break from the past and listen to the Haitian people. “Rather than take sides in a constitutional dispute, it will be more helpful to listen to and offer solidarity with the Haitian people,” said Douyon in her opening statement. Guerline Jozef, president of the Haitian Bridge Alliance, told the committee that over 129 asylum seekers were being deported as the hearing was happening. Over the weekend, social media users expressed outrage at ongoing conditions with the #FreeHaiti hashtag. An expression of self-determination, not a plea for help, #FreeHaiti began trending after news broke of the brutal killing of members of the Haitian National Police. Reporting for the Miami Herald, Jacqueline Charles explained the escalating situation as the United Nations demanded an explanation after an “anti-gang” operation in Port-au-Prince went horribly wrong. Anoa Changa is a movement journalist and retired attorney based in Atlanta, Georgia. Follow Anoa on Instagram and Twitter @thewaywithanoa.