We must act now to avert a U.S.-made disaster affecting thousands of Haitians
On September 22, apparently in response to anti-immigrant political pressure, DHS revoked a policy that allowed survivors of the 2010 Haitian earthquake to enter and stay in the United States. Yesterday, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson affirmed that decision, stating, “the policy has not changed in light of Hurricane Matthew.” Although deportation flights have been temporarily halted, DHS officials are still arranging to deport Haitians from the United States. Haiti has said it does not have the capacity to receive them, even before the hurricane. Additionally, DHS policy puts families entering the United States at risk of being separated.
On Oct 12, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security announced that they will be temporarily suspending deportations to Haiti as a result of the damage Hurricane Matthew has done to the country. However, they stand behind the decision to increase deportations to Haiti and intend to keep thousands of non-criminal Haitian citizens in detention indefinitely until they renew deportations to Haiti.
With the loss in lives and property still being measured, this is no time to start deporting and detaining Haitians seeking to recover. Join UUSC in telling DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson:
- Restore U.S. humanitarian policy that allows Haitians seeking refuge to enter the country.
- Allow all Haitians already in the United States to stay and remain safe as the country recovers.
- Keep families together in all cases.
How you can help
UUSC is also working to strengthen our emergency response capacity—a capacity that can be a matter of life and death for the most marginalized and the most vulnerable. Help us respond to this humanitarian crisis and continue our life saving work around the world by rushing a generous gift to UUSC right now.
Let’s treat Haitians in the United States and on the border with the respect and dignity they deserve. Tell Secretary Johnson: We must restore U.S. policy that allows Haitians to enter the United States, allow those already in the country to stay, and keep families together. Sign and send a letter to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson today.
Send a “Selfie of Solidarity”
Stand in solidarity with the people of Haiti by sharing a message of support in Haitian Creole. Make your own sign using the language below or click the message to print out a pre-made version, then take a selfie or group photo with your congregation while holding the message.
Send the photos to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, November 4, 2016. We’ll compile all the images we receive and send all of them together to our partners on the ground. Please include your name and, if applicable, the name of your congregation or organization so we can share that information with our partners.
Join UUSC’s Refugee Rapid Response Network
Keep track of the latest news about refugee rights and how you can help protect them. Help the United States set an example that makes us proud by participating in actions and programs in your community, or by providing support for humanitarian assistance throughout the world. Sign up now.
Sign up to volunteer with UUCSJ
The UU College of Social Justice is in conversation with Haiti partners to determine whether volunteers from the United States can be of use in recovery efforts. As we engage in this discernment, we welcome potential volunteers to fill out this form, so we can begin to create a “skills bank” of those willing and able to assist. Add your name to volunteer here.
Click to download a PDF of the following items:
The Issue in the News
- Opal Tometi, “Obama’s Contradictory Stance Toward Black Asylum Seekers,” The Hill, September 28, 2016.
- Kirk Semple, “Haitian Men Cut Off From Families as U.S. Tightens Entry Rules,” New York Times, September 29, 2016.
- Azam Ahmed, “Seeing ‘Nothing to Live For’ as Haiti Seeks a Body Count After Hurricane Matthew,” New York Times, October 8, 2016.
- Daniel Denvir, “Deportation to a disaster zone: Obama under pressure to stop crackdown on Haitian migrants as Hurricane Matthew wreaks havoc on island,” Salon, October 7, 2016.
- Associated Press, “Haitians throng at U.S.-Mexico border despite deportation policy,” CBS News. October 7, 2016.