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October 5, 2020
Joe Biden’s Commitment to Haitian Americans
Today, ahead of Jill Biden and Vice President Biden’s visit to South Florida, which includes a visit to Little Haiti in Miami-Dade County, Biden for President released Joe Biden’s commitment to Haitian-Americans.
“Vice President Biden’s commitment to Haitian-Americans is rooted in a fundamental belief in the unlimited potential of our community,” said Biden for President Florida Senior Advisor Karen Andre. “A Biden-Harris administration will review the Trump administration’s decision to terminate TPS for Haitians, reinstate the DACA program, and propose a path to citizenship for the thousands of Haitians who have long called the United States home. When Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are elected in November, we will finally see leadership that treats Haitians with the dignity and the resources they deserve to have a fair shot — both in their home country and here in the United States.”
Politics and society in the United States and Haiti have been intertwined since the earliest days of our nations. In 1779, 800 troops from Saint-Domingue (later Haiti) fought in the Battle of Savannah, Georgia, one of the bloodiest battles of the American Revolutionary War. Haiti, the world’s first Black-led republic and the first independent Caribbean state, also blazed a trail for racial justice in the Americas when it became the first country to ban slavery. Haitian Americans have strengthened our country for centuries, and that should be recognized and celebrated.
President Trump has abandoned and insulted our long-time friend and partner, Haiti. He has pursued policies that undermine U.S. interests and hurt and disrespect millions of Haitian Americans in the United States. Specifically, President Trump:
● Denigrated the country and people of Haiti by referring to it as a “s-hole country.”
● Tried to rescind Temporary Protected Status for Haitians who fled the country after its devastating 2010 earthquake, threatening to rip families apart and force approximately 30,000 American-born children to leave the only country they’ve ever known.
● Ended the Haitian Family Reunification Parole program, which allowed Haitians to join their family in the United States while awaiting their immigrant visas.
● Recklessly continued deportations of Haitians during the COVID-19 pandemic, potentially aiding the spread of the virus and endangering the health of the Haitian people.
● Proposed to limit student visas for Haitians to two years.
As Vice President, Joe Biden stood by Haiti and the Haitian people during its most difficult times.
● In the days following the 2010 earthquake, Vice President Biden engaged with the Haitian-American community in South Florida and worked closely with the
Haitian Diaspora on relief efforts.
● Biden met with Haitian community leaders in Little Haiti to announce Temporary Protected Status for eligible Haitian nationals after the 2010 earthquake.
● Joe Biden engaged with the Haitian community to advocate for and secure family reunification relief.
Joe Biden understands the issues and has a better way. As President, he will:
● Halt deportations for undocumented immigrants who have been living and working in the United States during his first 100 days in office.
● Immediately review the Trump administration’s decision to terminate Temporary Protected Status for Haitians.
● Reinstate the Haitian Family Reunification Parole program.
● Offer a path to citizenship to long-time TPS holders who have been in the country for an extended period of time through legislative immigration reform.
● Protect Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) holders from being returned to countries that are unsafe.
● Reinstate the DACA program.
● Ensure Dreamers are eligible for federal student aid and access to community college without debt.
● Reverse the regulation that limits student visas for Haitians to two years.
● Engage the international community and work with the Haitian government to hold elections as soon as possible so that the democratic will of the Haitian people can be heard.
● Implement effective oversight of how U.S. government funds to Haiti are spent, working in partnership with civil society and the Haitian American community, to ensure that money goes directly to assisting the Haitian people.
● Ensure that Haiti and the Haitian people are treated with the respect and dignity that they deserve.