Approximately 731,000 Haitian-born people live in the United States

Letter Text (PDF)

Washington (March 18, 2024) - Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), co-chair of the House Haiti Caucus, along with Haiti Caucus Co-Chairs Yvette Clarke (NY-09) and Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (FL-20), led 19 of their Senate colleagues in urging the Department of Homeland Security Secretary and Department of State to immediately redesignate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti, which would authorize Haitian nationals in the United States to remain in the country until conditions improve in Haiti. The lawmakers also call on the Biden administration to pause all deportation flights to Haiti until conditions improve.

Armed gangs control most of Haiti’s territory, including the capital city of Port-au-Prince, exposing those in Haiti to human rights abuses such as killings, kidnappings, and sexual violence. Since Prime Minister Ariel Henry has announced his resignation after facing immense public pressure, the country will continue to experience instability exacerbated by armed gangs, as an interim leader facilitates elections. 

In the letter, the lawmakers wrote, “Both of these steps are necessary to ensure that the United States does not return Haitian nationals to a government incapable of protecting its citizens — often subjecting them to repression and violence — and gangs that brutally victimize residents and operate without restrictions. Because of the quickly worsening gang violence in Haiti, the uncertain political future following Prime Minister Henry’s resignation announcement, the lack of accountability for human rights violations, and the current government’s abuses, we urge you to extend and redesignate TPS for Haiti and use your discretion to halt deportation flights to the country. These actions will prevent further suffering and unnecessary loss of life.”

Cosigners in the Senate include Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Laphonza Butler (D-Calif.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawai’i), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Jack Reed (D-R.I.).

In December 2023, Senator Markey and Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) sent a letter to President Joe Biden calling on the Administration to address the rising state of insecurity and the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Haiti. In October 2022, Senator Markey led a letter to urge the Biden administration to extend and redesignate TPS for Haitians living in the United States, a request that was granted in December 2022. In August 2016, Senator Markey successfully led the effort in the Senate to pressure the United Nations to accept full responsibility for Haiti’s cholera outbreak and deliver financial assistance to victims and their families, following his travel to Haiti to deliver aid and assess the humanitarian response.