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‘No good options’: Biden admin has no plans to change how it treats Haitian migrants despite outrage from advocates

Elishabawa 2 months ago 0 3

The Biden administration is facing mounting pressure from human rights organizations regarding its treatment of Haitian migrants attempting to flee Haiti or residing undocumented within the U.S. However, as of now, there are no plans to change course, according to three U.S. officials who spoke to NBC News.

More than 480 human rights organizations have sent a letter to the Biden administration, urging for a moratorium on deportations to Haiti, the immediate release of detained Haitian migrants, closure of pending deportation cases, and the establishment of a new designation of Temporary Protected Status to allow Haitian migrants already in the U.S. to remain.

The letter highlights concerns about the safety of Haitian nationals, particularly given recent events in Haiti, including the U.S. mission to evacuate Americans from the country amid security risks.

While there’s been internal debate within the administration, no plans have been made to allow more Haitian migrants into the U.S., officials say, acknowledging the challenging situation.

The Biden administration’s immigration policies have faced criticism, including from Democratic mayors, ahead of the November presidential election. Customs and Border Protection has apprehended over 10 million undocumented migrants attempting to cross the southern border since the administration began, with many being Haitian. While crossings reached record levels in late 2023, they have since declined.

Since gangs seized control in Haiti, leading to the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry, the country has experienced heightened violence.

The administration has refrained from deporting Haitian migrants by plane due to the security situation in Haiti, with gangs controlling the capital’s airport. However, migrants intercepted at sea continue to be repatriated to Haiti by boat, as demonstrated by the U.S. Coast Guard’s recent return of 65 Haitians found on a sailboat on March 14.

A Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman reiterated the longstanding policy of repatriating migrants interdicted at sea to various countries, including Haiti.

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