Human Rights First Condemns Biden Administration Returning Vulnerable People to Haiti

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the United States deported another group of Haitians back to a country plagued with instability and violence despite the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) recommendations against any forced returns. Human Rights First condemns this action and calls on the Biden Administration to halt all deportation flights to Haiti. 

“It is unconscionable for the Biden administration to return anyone to Haiti under present conditions,” said Human Rights First’s Senior Director for Refugee Advocacy Robyn Barnard. “We stand with Haitian-American leaders urging the President to protect Haitian migrants seeking safety by halting any removal flights, repatriations, or returns by sea of Haitians, and for the U.S. government to immediately extend and redesignate Haiti for Temporary Protected Status. The risk of torture and other serious harm is far too great and urgent action is required to protect at-risk Haitians.” 

On March 26, 2024, 481 immigration, human rights, faith-based, and civil organizations, including Human Rights First, sent a letter to President Biden, Secretary Mayorkas, and Secretary Blinken, urging them to impose a moratorium on unconscionable deportations to Haiti and to extend and redesignate Haiti for Temporary Protected Status. Human Rights First was proud to join Haitian Bridge Alliance and other advocates and allies at a press conference on Capitol Hill with Members of Congress to urge the Biden Administration to protect Black immigrants and take federal action to address the escalating humanitarian crisis in Haiti. 

The State Department has elevated Haiti to a “do not travel” status, the same designation as Sudan, Afghanistan, or Syria, and warned of “kidnapping, crime, civil unrest, and poor health care infrastructure.” Almost a year ago, non-emergency U.S. government personnel were ordered to leave Port-au-Prince for safety reasons, and Americans have generally been directed to depart the country. Despite these determinations as to the risk of serious harm or death, the U.S. government resumed removal flights earlier this year. 

To speak with Robyn Barnard or other experts at Human Rights First, please contact [email protected].


About Human Rights First

 Human Rights First is an independent advocacy and action organization that challenges America to live up to its ideals. For 40 years the organization has worked to press the U.S. government and private companies to respect human rights and the rule of law. When they fail, Human Rights First steps in to demand reform, accountability and justice. Human Rights First is based in New York, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles.


Published on May 16, 2024


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