Human Rights First and 38 Human and Civil Rights Leaders Tell President Biden: “Your Administration Stands at a Precipice”

WASHINGTON — Human Rights First President and CEO Michael Breen joined leaders of 38 human and civil rights organizations in delivering a letter to the White House on Tuesday evening opposing the Biden administration’s violent expulsions of Haitian asylum seekers at the U.S-Mexico border and its recent appeal of a federal court ruling that would have brought an end to additional expulsions of asylum-seeking families.

“The Biden administration’s mistreatment of Haitians seeking safety in the U.S. is a profound moral failure and violates the laws Congress has established to protect refugees and asylum seekers,” said Mike Breen, President and CEO of Human Rights First. “The U.S. government’s abuses against our Haitian neighbors perpetuates a long and shameful history of discrimination against Haitians in the U.S. immigration system, grounded in racism and systemic injustice. The Biden administration must immediately change course or risk a permanent stain on their record of upholding human rights.”

The letter warns that while the administration has committed to advancing racial equity in all parts of the government, this commitment is belied by actions taken by the Department of Homeland Security at the southern border through the continuation of Title 42 expulsions as well as deportation flights to Haiti and other nations, without any screening for asylum eligibility, which is required under U.S. law.

Human Rights First and the Haitian Bridge Alliance released a fact sheet on Tuesday on the Biden administration’s dangerous Haitian expulsion strategy, and the U.S. history of illegal and discriminatory mistreatment of Haitians seeking safety in the United States.

Mr. Breen joined other signatories, including Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF); Wade Henderson, Interim President and CEO, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; Kenneth Roth, Executive Director, Human Rights Watch, and many others.


Published on September 22, 2021


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