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Rep. Frankel Joins Congressional Colleagues Urging Biden Administration to Extend Protected Status for Haitians and Halt Deportations

Washington, DC – This week, Congresswoman Lois Frankel (FL-22) joined a group of 67 lawmakers 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 called on the Biden Administration to pause all deportation flights to Haiti until conditions improve.

The humanitarian emergency plaguing Haiti has worsened in recent months, and political instability has created a dangerous and volatile environment for Haitians. 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. Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry recently announced his resignation after facing immense public pressure. Nearly 500,000 Haitians reside in Florida, and approximately 300,000 live in South Florida alone, thousands of whom are living under Temporary Protected Status.

In the letter to the Administration, the lawmakers wrote, “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.” 

For full text of the letter, click here.