Sen. Bob Menendez (DNJ) along with 15 other senators sent a letter this week to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Meyerkas and State Secretary Antony Blinken, condemning the US treatment of Haitian migrants and asylum seekers at the border.
state of play: The senators called on the Biden administration to appoint a new special envoy for Haiti and work with international partners to address “Haiti’s long-term stability” along with protections for Haitian migrants.
- Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D.N.Y.) and Senators Cory Booker (D.N.J.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) also signed the letter.
big picture: The Biden administration faced increased scrutiny last month over its treatment of thousands of Haitian migrants who gathered in Del Rio. Most were deported under Title 42, a Trump-era policy that allows the government to fast-track deportations during the pandemic.
- Many Haitian immigrants to America were fleeing extreme poverty, disaster and political unrest.
- Haiti is facing growing political instability following the assassination of former President Jovenel Mosse and an earthquake earlier this year that killed more than 2,200 people and injured 12,000 others.
Catch up soon: Haiti’s former special envoy Daniel Foote resigned last month, saying he would “not engage with the inhumane, unfavorable decision of the United States to deport thousands of Haitian refugees.”
What are they saying: “During our lifetimes, our Haitian brothers and sisters have endured dictatorships, constitutional crises, food insecurity, epidemics, natural disasters, forced displacement, the assassination of their president, and the criminal takeover of their communities,” the senators wrote in the letter.
- “Their resilience is unparalleled and our communities in the United States have flourished as a result of the presence of Haitian immigrants and their American children.”
- “Ensuring the integrity of US borders is of the utmost importance, and is not inconsistent with, a fundamental duty to respect the dignity, humanity, and rights of all persons entering the United States.”
Read the letter below: