For Immediate Release For More Information Contact:
Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson Responds to the
Resumption of Deportation Flights to Haiti
Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson today released the following statement in response to the resumption of deportation flights to Haiti:
“It is very disheartening to learn that the Department of Homeland Security has resumed deportation flights to Haiti. Last month, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson wisely put a hold on these flights to give the battered nation time to begin its recovery from the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew.
“I visited Haiti on October 29 and can unequivocally say that little has changed in the five weeks since the Category 4 storm hit an already vulnerable nation. More than a million people are in yet another fight for their lives in the aftermath of yet another natural disaster that has compounded the damage caused by the 2010 earthquake.
“The people DHS will remove are not criminals and are in fact hard-working people who are contributing to the economies of both Haiti and the United States. The bottom line, however, is that Haiti is not equipped to care for the planned biweekly arrival of deportees or to provide the resources they will need to rebuild their lives.
“Last month, I led more than 50 House Democrats and Republicans in a letter to President Obama urging him to delay the deportations and to also hold full and fair asylum hearings, effective counsel and other forms of relief. I also have urged the administration to redesignate Haiti’s temporary protective status that will expire next July to include Haitians already in the United States and to expand the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program, which promotes safe and legal migration to the U.S.
“I plan to work with my congressional colleagues and advocates once again to further engage the administration on these critical issues. As Secretary Johnson stated when he initially suspended the deportation flights, Haiti still needs our sympathies and support.”
Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson is a third-term Congresswoman from Florida representing parts of Northern Miami-Dade and Southeast Broward counties. A former state legislator and school principal, she is the founder of the 5000 Role Models for Excellence Project, a mentoring program for young males at risk of dropping out of school. Congresswoman Wilson also founded the Florida Ports Caucus, a bipartisan taskforce that coordinates federal action in support of Florida’s harbors and waterways. The Florida lawmaker sits on the House Education and the Workforce Committee and is the Ranking Democrat on the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections.