Human Rights First Urges Biden Administration to Protect Haitian Refugees

WASHINGTON DC – As the human rights catastrophe facing people in Haiti continues to escalate, Human Rights First calls on the Biden administration to urgently implement humane migration policies and reject those that send Haitians back to danger or subject them to Guantanamo Bay or other detention. 

“The Biden administration must take urgent, humane, and effective steps to provide safe pathways to protection for Haitians and prevent their return to deadly dangers,” said Eleanor Acer, Senior Director for Refugee Protection at Human Rights First. “The last thing the United States should do is send people fleeing life-threatening harms to the notorious Guantanamo Bay detention camp. Instead, the U.S. government should ensure Haitians have swift access to U.S. asylum and other protections and work with other countries to expand protection pathways. This is an opportunity for the Biden administration to demonstrate principled leadership by decisively rejecting policies that would continue the disturbing U.S. track record of discriminatory mistreatment of Haitians seeking protection.”    

Human Rights First calls on the Biden administration to:  

  • Expand the scale of and access to the CHNV parole initiative, including sharply increasing parole availability for Haitians;  
  • Redesignate and renew Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitian nationals;   
  • Suspend removals and maritime returns to Haiti given the grave safety and security situation and related United Nations calls for non-return; and  
  • Reject any plans to use Guantanamo Bay or other locations to detain or hold Haitians interdicted at sea, and instead ensure prompt access to U.S. territory, asylum and other protection pathways, including for people with U.S. family and/or other ties.  

Human Rights First has previously detailed the discriminatory U.S. treatment of Haitians along with key partners Haitian Bridge Alliance, Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI), Communities United for Status and Protection (CUSP), and RFK Human Rights, to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD)  



Published on March 20, 2024


Seeking asylum?

If you do not already have legal representation, cannot afford an attorney, and need help with a claim for asylum or other protection-based form of immigration status, we can help.