Ask DHS Secretary Johnson to Protect Haitians

October 20, 2016
By: 
Lacy Broemel, Refugee and Immigration Policy Analyst, Office of Government Relations

In September 2016, Secretary Jeh Johnson announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would resume detaining and deporting Haitians, ending the policy of offering Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Haitians arriving in the U.S. that has been in place since 2010. In recognition of the challenges Haitians faced in their country in the immediate aftermath of a catastrophic earthquake that decimated the country in 2010, the U.S. government committed to granting Haitians humanitarian parole in the United States while Haiti recovered, including offering TPS to Haitians already in the U.S. and to those arriving to seek safety.

Although Secretary Johnson rescinded DHS’s recent deportation policy following the devastating impacts of Hurricane Matthew, DHS plans to resume fast-tracking the deportation of Haitians as soon as country conditions improve, however slightly. There are currently an estimated 2,000 Haitians in detention right now and an estimated 100 Haitians entering the U.S. every day seeking safety and opportunity.  If deportations resume, these Haitians who previously would have been granted parole would be deported.  

General Convention resolutions urge that when deportations occur, they should be done in a humane and safe manner. Additionally, The Episcopal Church has policy urging TPS protections for Haitians. Unfortunately, unstable conditions such as the ongoing cholera outbreak, which is the worst epidemic of cholera in the world, and political instability, persist. While Haitians that are currently protected by TPS will not be affected by this change in policy, it is critical that Haitians entering the U.S. are not inhumanely detained and deported to unsafe situations. Speak out for the safety and dignity of every human being by calling Secretary Johnson today to urge protections for Haitians.

Call Secretary Johnson and urge expanded protections for Haitians, including through Temporary Protected Status (TPS): 202-282-8000

Sample Script:

“I’m from [City, State, Congregation/Community,] and as a person of faith, I urge Secretary Johnson to immediately grant humanitarian parole to Haitians entering the United States and stop the inhumane and unjust detention of Haitians already in the U.S. Enduring dangerous conditions in Haiti exacerbated by Hurricane Matthew's devastation make it unsafe for anyone to be deported to Haiti. 

  • Temporary Protected Status (TPS) should be re-designated to include all Haitians.
  • Haitians already paroled into the United States should be re-paroled. 
  • The Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program should be expanded to ensure family unity. 

Haitians are fleeing catastrophic conditions in their home country and should be allowed to access protection in the United States.”

Join us in calling on Secretary Johnson to live up to our American values by upholding our promises to the Haitian people and ensuring Haitians can seek safety here in the United States.