To contact our media team, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with [Media] in the subject line. We can facilitate country-expert interviews as well as interviews with directly impacted migrants in some cases.
Disclaimer: Haitian Bridge Alliance (HBA), also known as “the Bridge”, is a grassroots community organization that advocates for fair and humane immigration policies and provides migrants and immigrants with humanitarian, legal, and social services, with a particular focus on Black migrants, the Haitian community, women and girls, LGBTQIA+ individuals, and survivors of torture and other human rights abuses. HBA also seeks to elevate the issues unique to Black migrants and builds solidarity and collective movement toward policy change. Anpil men, chay pa lou (“Many hands lighten the load”) Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook: @haitianbridge
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December 8, 2023
Texas Civil Rights Project, email@example.com
Haitian Bridge Alliance, firstname.lastname@example.org
TEXAS – Today would have marked Anadith Danay Reyes Álvarez’s 9th birthday, a day of celebration with her family. However, her life was tragically cut short May of 2023 while in the custody of Customs and Border Patrol (CBP). Despite being healthy when apprehended with her family on May 9th, Anadith fell ill inside the CBP detention facility. Her mother’s repeated pleas for medical care were ignored by CBP and its medical contractor, Loyal Source Government Services (LSGS).
“Last year we were able to celebrate her birthday together, but this year, she’s not here. I cannot describe how painful and hard it is. My only wish is that we get justice for Anadith,” said Mabel Alvarez.
Tragically, just moments after officials once again refused to provide medical attention and transport her sick child to the hospital, Anadith’s mother witnessed her daughter’s passing in her arms. The Texas Civil Rights Project and Haitian Bridge Alliance are currently representing the family in an ongoing investigation into the circumstances surrounding her death.
“Our hearts ache for Anadith’s family, who have endured a loss that no one should face. Today Anadith should be celebrating her birthday, her first one in the United States, but this country and its inhumane immigration practices failed her,” said Karla Marisol Vargas (she/her), Senior Attorney with the Beyond Borders Program at the Texas Civil Rights Project. “The whistleblower’s courageous account further proves what we’ve known to be true all along, her death could have been prevented. CBP has set a dangerous trend of ignoring and denying thousands of people in their care who need help. It is time for them to not only start listening to people, but to make serious changes in how medical care is given.”
Last week, the Government Accountability Project sent a letter to Congress detailing the whistleblower account of Mr. Troy Hendrickson, a former Contract Officer Representative reporting to CBP’s Office of the Chief Medical Officer (OCMO) and CBP’s Office of Acquisition. Mr. Hendrickson details a multitude of widespread failures by LSGS in providing medical care to detainees, as well as failures by CBP in holding LSGS accountable. His account notes widespread and persistent problems with LSGS staffing including severe staffing shortages, employees with expired licenses or credentials, and employees with active investigations or complaints pending against them. Importantly, Mr. Hendrickson notes how CBP continuously refused to hold LSGS accountable even after attempts at escalating concerns regarding these known deficiencies. Like Anadith and her family, Mr. Hendrickson was ignored – but not silenced.
“In the face of this profound loss, it is crucial that we persist in the fight for justice for Anadith, her family, and all individuals seeking protection,” emphasized Guerline Jozef, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Haitian Bridge Alliance. “Ana’s tragic death could have been averted if her and her mother’s pleas for medical attention had not been disregarded while in CBP custody. The struggle for acknowledgment of our humanity persists for Black people, requiring constant advocacy. No parent should bear the immense pain that Ana’s mother and father are enduring. We are demanding justice and accountability in the face of injustice”.
TCRP and HBA have repeatedly called for the practice of detaining children to end, and for CBP to provide further transparency into what happened to Anadith. The organizations demand oversight and accountability for CBP’s detention practices, and contracting practices and failure to hold contractors accountable.
TCRP and HBA respectfully request that the media/press refrain from contacting Anadith’s family directly, who do not wish to speak to the media at this time. If you have any questions please contact TCRP or HBA.
About Texas Civil Rights Project
The Texas Civil Rights Project is boldly serving the movement for equality and justice in and out of the courts. We use our tools of litigation and legal advocacy to protect and advance the civil rights of everyone in Texas, and we partner with communities across the state to serve the rising movement for social justice. We undertake our work with a vision of a Texas in which all communities can thrive with dignity, justice and without fear.
About Haitian Bridge Alliance
The Haitian Bridge Alliance (HBA) also known as “The BRIDGE” is a 501(c)(3) grassroots nonprofit community organization that advocates for fair and humane immigration policies and provides migrants and immigrants with humanitarian, legal, and social services, with a particular focus on Black people, the Haitian community, women and girls, LGBTQIA+ individuals, and survivors of torture and other human rights abuses.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEDecember 1, 2023Contact: Paola Luisi, email@example.com
San Diego, California – Haitian Bridge Alliance expresses deep concern and condemnation over the recent deportation of Mr. Guy Philippe, an action that shocks the conscience, especially given the current context in Haiti.
Guerline Jozef, Founder of Haitian Bridge Alliance released the following statement:
“The decision to repatriate Mr. Philippe is an indicative of the United States’ apparent hypocrisy and its direct and indirect complicity in contributing to the ongoing destabilization of the island. Jozef emphasizes the need for a comprehensive approach to immigration policies, especially considering the insecurity challenges faced by Haiti. This deportation and many others take place amidst the Biden administration’s support for Kenya’s armed force deployment to Haiti, ostensibly to address the gang crisis. Jozef points out that this stance appears contradictory to the U.S. government’s narrative. Such actions, in her view, run the risk of exacerbating Haiti’s instability, highlighting the persistent impact of failed U.S. foreign policy toward the island and its people.”
Mr. Guy Philipe, a former coup leader, played a key role in the 2004 rebellion against former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, establishing influential connections with police, politicians, and business elites. Following his involvement, Mr. Philippe faced legal consequences, serving more than six years in prison in the United States for money laundering.
Haitian Bridge Alliance (HBA) urgently implores the Biden-Harris Administration to immediately cease the repatriation of Haitian nationals to the Republic of Haiti due to the ongoing violence and insecurity plaguing the country. The Department of State ordered the departure of family members of U.S. government employees and non-emergency U.S. government employees from Haiti, signifying the heightened risks associated with remaining in the country. Yet, on Thursday, November 30, 2023, the Biden administration once again a deportation flights to the island. This decision is deeply troubling given the dire circumstances currently afflicting Haiti.
Furthermore, The U.S. State Department has issued a Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory to the country, citing alarming rates of kidnapping, escalating crime, civil unrest, and a crumbling healthcare infrastructure. These circumstances underscore the urgency of the situation on the ground.
The recent extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) by the Biden administration, is further proof that the administration recognizes the dire conditions in Haiti. United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) recently announced that close to 300 kidnappings have been reported in the country in the first six months of the country. Over the past year, the United Nations has been working with international partners to provide security assistance to the nation at the request of the De Facto Prime Minister, Ariel Henry.
HBA stands united in its impassioned plea for the administration to take immediate action to halt deportations to Haiti. Protecting the civil liberties of all people, including those seeking a better life in the United States due to unimaginable violence in their home country, is a core tenant of our nation’s democracy. HBA requests that the administration act expeditiously and take measures to correct decades of discriminatory treatment towards Haitians and Black asylum seekers/migrants.
About the Haitian Bridge Alliance:
Haitian Bridge Alliance (HBA), also known as “The Bridge”, is a grassroots community organization that advocates for fair and humane immigration policies and provides migrants and immigrants with humanitarian, legal, and social services, with a particular focus on Black migrants, the Haitian community, women and girls, LGBTQIA+ individuals, and survivors of torture and other human rights abuses. HBA also seeks to elevate the issues unique to Black migrants and builds solidarity and collective movement toward policy change. Anpil men chay pa lou (“Many hands make the load light”). Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook: @haitianbridge
November 28, 2023Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
San Diego, California – The Haitian Bridge Alliance, a leading non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and advocating for migrants and asylum seekers, took part in a heartwarming Thanksgiving initiative, providing a special meal and a sense of community to over 600 newly arrived asylum seekers from diverse corners of the globe.
On Thanksgiving Day, the Haitian Bridge Alliance hosted a special event in San Diego where volunteers and staff came together to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for those seeking refuge in the United States. The event, made possible through the generosity of HBA’s team and community support, showcased the spirit of serving with compassion, dignity, love, respect and unity that defines the organization’s mission.
“We recognize that many of the asylum seekers have faced unimaginable challenges and hardships on their journey to find safety and refuge. Thanksgiving is a time to express gratitude and compassion, and we are honored to be able to extend a helping hand to those in need,” said Guerline Jozef, Executive Director of the Haitian Bridge Alliance.
“This is beyond what we expected” said a group of men from Afghanistan “This has been a very dangerous journey for us, to be welcomed with such love really means a lot to us and we will never forget this act of generosity.”
‘“Is this Fufu and Gumbo (Okra)?” exclaimed a man from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). “I have not eaten anything familiar since I escaped my home country. This really nourishes my body and my soul. Thank you for feeding us.”
“Thank you, thank you, that’s all I can say. I honestly did not expecting such a warm welcome and delicious food” said a woman from China.
“One more Fanta drink please” asked a woman from Cameroon. “This is really good, thank you for taking care of us immigrants. Wow, thank you.”
“God bless you all for this great meal, but what exactly is Thanksgiving?” said a man from Mauritania.
The event featured a feast cooked by our amazing team led by Madame Josianne Valsaint and was culturally sensitive to accommodate the diverse backgrounds of the attendees. Volunteers and staff worked tirelessly to create an atmosphere of warmth and hospitality, ensuring that everyone felt valued and welcomed during the holiday season.
The Haitian Bridge Alliance remains committed to its mission of providing critical support to asylum seekers and migrants, advocating for their rights, and fostering a sense of community. The organization extends its gratitude to all the volunteers, partners, and community members who contributed to making this Thanksgiving event a success.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASENovember 6, 2023Contact: Paola Luisi, email@example.com
San Diego, California- The Haitian Bridge Alliance strongly condemns and opposes any attempts to incorporate border policy provisions into the Supplemental and Government Funding Bills. We firmly believe that such a move would be detrimental to the rights and well-being of immigrant communities, particularly those seeking refuge and asylum in the United States due to failed U.S. foreign policy across the world, chronic insecurity and climate change. Immigration policy should be addressed through separate, thoughtful, and comprehensive legislation, rather than being included in funding bills.
The Supplemental and Government Funding Bills are critical pieces of legislation aimed at addressing important issues, including healthcare, education, infrastructure, and other essential services. Attempting to append border policy provisions to these bills would undermine their core objectives, hinder effective governance, and further politicize an already contentious issue.
Executive Director of Haitian Bridge Alliance, Guerline Jozef, issued the following statement:
“We call upon the United States Congress to reject any attempts to merge draconian border policy provisions with the Supplemental and Government Funding Bills and instead pursue a just and humane approach to immigration policy through separate legislation. The proposed legislation seeks to undermine the rights of asylum seekers and does not uphold the values of justice, compassion. We further find the proposal to be arbitrary and capricious.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEOctober 20, 2023Contact: Paola Luisi, firstname.lastname@example.org
Geneva, Switzerland – The Haitian Bridge Alliance led a delegation for a week of advocacy at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. For the first time in nine years, the United Nations Human Rights Committee reviewed the U.S. compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). More than 140 representatives from dozens of civil society organizations were in Geneva to hold the U.S. accountable during the ICCPR review. Haitian Bridge Alliance (HBA) and partner civil society organizations submitted a report to the committee last month ahead of the review, delivered testimony to the Committee over the last week, and advocated for the Committee to question the U.S. government on its migration policies.
During the official review on Oct. 17 and 18 in Geneva, Switzerland, U.N. committee members questioned U.S. federal, state, and local government officials on “the punitive nature of U.S. migration measures”; the treatment of refugee and asylum seekers, including the effects of mandating that the CBP One app be the exclusive way to access asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border; family separations; child deaths in immigrant detention facilities, including the preventable death of 8-year old Anadith Danay Reyes Alvarez, and reparations to victim’s families; the inhumane conditions and mistreatment in immigrant detention, including the use of solitary confinement; the use of force by Customs and Border Patrol; asylum screening processes during maritime interdictions; and Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s data collection and surveillance practices.
In responding to the Committee’s questions, the U.S. government delegation’s Royce Murray, Senior Counselor to the Secretary of Homeland Security, said the U.S. is “facing hemispheric migration challenges with outdated immigration laws that only Congress can fix.”
The HBA coalition report focused on how the U.S.’s prevention through deterrence migration policies and practices violate the treaty, are based in historic and structural racism, and trample upon the human rights of people in transnational migration. The report detailed how U.S. prevention through deterrence migration strategies–including border militarization, the mass immigrant detention network, maritime interdictions, pushbacks at the U.S.-Mexico border, ongoing deportations and forced returns to places where people are likely to suffer harm, and the externalization of U.S. border control throughout the Americas– uniquely and disparately impact Haitian nationals, Cameroonian nationals, and other people of African descent.
The United States is obligated to abide by the ICCPR, which is one of only three international human rights treaties the country has ratified. Recordings of the review are publicly accessible via the UN Web TV site (Oct. 17, Oct. 18). The Human Rights Committee is expected to issue its Concluding Observations on U.S. compliance with the ICCPR on November 3 and include its recommendations for the treatment of foreign nationals, including refugees and asylum seekers.
Executive Director of Haitian Bridge Alliance, Guerline Jozef, issues the following statement:“The Haitian Bridge Alliance is committed to fostering positive change and facilitating a brighter future for all migrants. We are grateful for the opportunity to have our voices heard at the United Nations Human Rights Committee review and look forward to continued collaboration with all stakeholders in the pursuit of a more just and humane world.”
Erik Crew, Staff Attorney at Haitian Bridge Alliance, who was present at the hearings in Geneva, issued the following statements:“It’s gratifying to see that the Committee’s questions to the U.S. government’s delegation were guided by input from HBA and other participating civil society organizations, but it shouldn’t take us flying half-way across the world for the U.S. government to have to take human rights seriously, or to answer for 8-year old Anadith’s preventable death in immigration detention and be called to provide reparations. Human rights should be a key consideration in every action our government takes, including in its migration and border policies.”
“This week, the Committee’s questioning of the U.S., and the U.S. response provided more evidence that the U.S. prevention through deterrence migration strategies are outside the rules-based international order that the government continues to say it supports,” said Mr. Crew after the hearings.
###Haitian Bridge Alliance (HBA), also known as “The Bridge”, is a grassroots community organization that advocates for fair and humane immigration policies and provides migrants and immigrants with humanitarian, legal, and social services, with a particular focus on Black migrants, the Haitian community, women and girls, LGBTQIA+ individuals, and survivors of torture and other human rights abuses. HBA also seeks to elevate the issues unique to Black migrants and builds solidarity and collective movement toward policy change. Anpil men chay pa lou (“Many hands make the load light”). Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook: @haitianbridge
October 17, 2023
Contact: Paola Luisi, email@example.com
San Diego, California—Today, we solemnly mark the anniversary of the passing of Jean-Jacques Dessalines, a towering figure whose legacy in the fight for liberty and justice remains an enduring source of inspiration for people around the world. On this day, we remember and honor his profound contributions to the cause of freedom.Jean-Jacques Dessalines, born on September 20, 1758, played a pivotal role in the Haitian Revolution, a struggle for independence that reshaped the course of history in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. As the principal leader of the Haitian Revolution, he stood as a beacon of hope and resilience, guiding the Haitian people toward the realization of their long-cherished dream of liberation from slavery and colonial oppression.In honor of Dessalines, we reflect on his unwavering commitment to the principles of equality, liberty, and justice. He demonstrated extraordinary courage and determination, leading his compatriots to overthrow the oppressive French colonial regime and ultimately declaring the independence of Haiti on January 1, 1804. This declaration marked not only the birth of the world’s first Black republic but also a significant step forward in the global struggle for human rights and dignity.Dessalines’ legacy goes beyond his role in securing Haitian independence. He championed the cause of Black freedom and sovereignty, emphasizing the importance of self-determination and self-governance. His commitment to ending slavery and promoting the rights of all citizens, regardless of their background, continues to be a source of inspiration for those fighting for justice and equality in our world today.His legacy underscores the significance of unity, resilience, and the pursuit of justice for all. It is a reminder that, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges, the human spirit can triumph through perseverance and a shared commitment to a common cause.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEOctober 6, 2023Contact: Paola Luisi, firstname.lastname@example.org
San Diego, California – The Haitian Bridge Alliance (HBA) and the Cameroon Advocacy Network (CAN) applaud the recent decision by the Biden-Harris Administration to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to the people of Cameroon currently living in the United States.
The country is marked by political instability, multiple armed conflicts, and unrest. Citing risks linked to kidnapping, gun violence, and carjacking, among others, the U.S. Department of State has issued “Do Not Travel” warnings for six regions in Cameroon: the North, Far North, North-West, South-West, and parts of Adamawa and East. In a State Department report on Cameroon, the U.S. contended that “Cameroon faces ongoing violence in the Northwest, Southwest, and Far North from separatists and insurgent groups, as well as the resurgence of longstanding intercommunal conflict in the Far North region.” The country’s government has also consistently violated the basic human rights of Cameroonians. These instances of state-sanctioned violence are inflicted by Cameroon security forces, who suppress the right to free speech and arbitrarily detain critics of the government. The security forces also inflict sexual violence, torture, and extrajudicial killings on political opponents and dissenters, as well as the burning of entire communities suspected of harboring any sentiments of dissent towards the government.
Much of the human rights violations in the country’s Far North region can be credited to Boko Haram, a group the U.S. Department of State recognizes as a terrorist organization that originated in Nigeria and spread to neighboring countries such as Cameroon. A report by Human Rights Watch stated that “Boko Haram’s attacks are often indiscriminate, including suicide bombings in crowded areas,” such as schools, mosques, and refugee camps, “that appear designed to maximize civilian deaths and injuries.” The report also asserts that there are almost daily killings that can be attributed to the regime, which has contributed to the internal displacement of over 400,000 Cameroonians.
Guerline Jozef, Founder and Executive Director of Haitian Bridge Alliance, Founding member of Cameroon Advocacy Network and Co-founder of the Black Immigrants Bail Fund, said, “We applaud and welcome the Biden-Harris Administration, in particular, Secretary Mayorkas for their compassionate decision to redesignate and extend Cameroon for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) which reflects its commitment to humanitarian values. By offering TPS to Cameroon, the Administration is affording affected individuals an opportunity to rebuild their lives, access education, secure employment, and contribute positively to their communities, all while being shielded from the threat of deportation to unsafe conditions” She continues, “We are forever grateful to the US Senator Chris Van Hollen, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren and Congressman Hank Johnson were joined by over 25 of their colleagues in calling on this extension and re-designation for Cameroon. We call for TPS protections for The DRC, Nicaragua, Haiti, Mali, Mauritania and Ethiopia acknowledging that crises affecting these nations demand the same urgent attention and compassion.”
Daniel Tse, Founding Member of Cameroon Advocacy Network, said, “Today’s decision secures protection for thousands of Cameroonians in the United States living in fear and uncertainty. Although we are elated, we do acknowledge that this decision came with immense advocacy, from humanitarian leaders and members of congress. The request for temporary protected status (TPS) redesignation has been the Cameroon Advocacy Network’s (CAN) top priority as I have on several occasions watched my brothers and sisters sent back to danger in Cameroon while in chains. The images I have seen resemble that of times of slavery. As history has taught us, when it comes to Black immigrants, there’s always retaliation, reluctance and relegation involved. Given that this is the system that we work within, the fight is not over yet! We will continue to work with our allies and push for humanitarian parole for those unjustly deported.
Sarah Decker, Staff Attorney at Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, said, “We thank the administration for redesignating and extending this critical protection for Cameroonian immigrants in the United States. TPS will ensure that Cameroonians are protected from deportation back to a country that continues to experience multiple humanitarian crises. We urge the administration to continue safeguarding Cameroonians and other Black immigrants in the US by halting unconscionable deportations back to countries experiencing extreme violence and ending its use of harsh deterrence measures, including immigration detention and abusive border policies.”
Amy Fischer, Director of Refugee and Migrant Rights at Amnesty International USA, said, “Amnesty International USAAmnesty International USA welcomes the extension and re-designation of temporary protected status for Cameroon. This is an incredible victory for the Cameroonian community in the United States, who have fought long and hard for this protection. The administration must now move to implement this announcement in a timely fashion and speed up processing times for adjudications to make TPS truly meaningful for the Cameroonian community. While we welcome this incredible news, we remain deeply concerned about the ever-worsening human rights situation for those who continue to seek safety in the United States, and encourage the Biden administration to halt deportations to Cameroon and to act swiftly to restore protections for all people exercising their human right to seek safety at the southern border.”
Todd Schulte, President of FWD.us, said, “The decision to extend and redesignate TPS for Cameroon is great news as in-country conditions have only worsened since the original designation last year. Today, we thank the Biden administration as the approximately 21,000 Cameroonians residing in the U.S. are able to breathe a sigh of relief knowing they are able to continue living in safety and contributing to their communities. Deporting these individuals to a deadly armed conflict with extraordinary levels of violence would be both immoral and shortsighted. We hope the Administration continues to use the incredibly powerful TPS authority to offer temporary protections to other people facing disastrous circumstances in their home countries, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Mauritania.”
Gustavo Torres, Executive Director of CASA, said, “TPS designations are one of the administration’s strongest tools to protect immigrants fleeing political crises and natural disasters. CASA celebrates today’s announcements with our thousands of members from Cameroon and joins with them in urging the administration to expand the use of TPS to protect people from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central America, Mauritania, and other deserving countries.”
Terrance Chie, Community Member, said, “I am grateful for the administration providing protection for myself and other Cameroonians. The TPS redesignation and extension is a mental and psychological booster for Cameroonians currently in the US. TPS provides security and safety and allows me to work and give back to the community. I also ask that this administration halts all deportations back to Cameroon. Returning people to danger should never be part of our immigration system.”
By offering TPS to Cameroon, the Administration is affording impacted community members an opportunity to rebuild their lives, access education, secure employment, and contribute positively to their communities, all while being shielded from the threat of deportation to unsafe conditions.
The Cameroon Advocacy Network was launched in 2021 by Haitian Bridge Alliance in collaboration with Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and other partners. The space hopes to bring together everyone in unity to work for the dignity and rights of all Cameroonians – whether in Cameroon, in the United States, or anywhere else in the world.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 4, 2023 Contact: Paola Luisi, Pluisi@haitianbridge.org
San Diego, California – Haitian Bridge Alliance (HBA) brought a delegation of Haitian experts from California to Matamoros and Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico, over Labor Day weekend (September 2-5, 2023). The delegation met with approximately 120 Haitian asylum seekers living in migrant shelters and informal encampments along the border to troubleshoot problems they confront when they try to schedule an appointment through the CBP One app.
Since May 11, 2023, asylum seekers must schedule an appointment with the CBP One app to present at a port of entry to seek asylum in the United States, or else face turnbacks from ports of entry and/or be banned from applying for asylum under the recent asylum ban policy (Circumvention of Lawful Pathways).
“HBA has been very concerned about widespread and continuous complaints by asylum seekers since January 2023 who have difficulty navigating or are locked out of the app, and must wait at the border for several months because they are unable to obtain a CBP One appointment,” said Nicole Phillips, Legal Director of Haitian Bridge Alliance. “We are thrilled to engage the expertise of the Haitian community in the United States to provide technical assistance to our brothers and sisters at the border so they can get appointments and lawfully seek asylum.”
The delegation is producing written and audio/visual materials to assist asylum seekers in troubleshooting the app. Stay tuned for more information about these materials.
Haitian Bridge Alliance (HBA), also known as “the Bridge,” is a grassroots community organization that advocates for fair and humane immigration policies and provides migrants and immigrants with humanitarian, legal, and social services, with a particular focus on Black migrants, the Haitian community, women and girls, LGBTQIA+ individuals, and survivors of torture and other human rights abuses. HBA also seeks to elevate the issues unique to Black migrants and builds solidarity and collective movement toward policy change. Anpil men chay pa lou (“Many hands make the load light”). Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook: @haitianbridge
September 18, 2023
San Diego, California—On Wednesday, September 13, the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Texas ruled against DACA in the case of Texas v. United States. While the court’s decision does not impact current DACA recipients or their renewals, nor does it change or expand eligibility, we are greatly concerned. This decision could carry significant implications for the future of DACA recipients, commonly known as Dreamers, and it underscores the ongoing challenges faced by undocumented individuals in the United States.Guerline Jozef, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Haitian Bridge Alliance, issued the following statement: “The decision by Judge Hanen against DACA is yet another devastating blow to hundreds of thousands of Dreamers and loved ones. The decision is bad for communities, bad for the economy, and centers cruelty rather than dignity and common sense. For most DACA recipients, this is the only home they know, and we will continue to advocate alongside Dreamers who have fearlessly led this advocacy for years. Congress and the Biden administration must act immediately to create an enduring solution for our Dreamers.”
While we respect the judicial process, it is essential to recognize that DACA has been a vital lifeline for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants who have grown up in the United States and consider it their home. These individuals have contributed to their communities and the nation at large in meaningful ways, and they deserve a fair and just resolution to their immigration status.
There are roughly 580,000 active DACA recipients who are living in the United States. The average DACA recipient arrived in the United States at age 7 and has lived here for more than 20 years. Dreamers help the American economy and serve in the military. Over the next 10 years, Dreamers who currently have DACA will contribute an estimated $420 billion to the GDP, $60 billion in fiscal impact, and $12.3 billion in taxes to Social Security and Medicare if they can continue to work legally in the U.S.
Haitian Bridge Alliance urges the United States Congress and the Biden-Harris Administration to pass legislation that would provide a pathway to lawful permanent resident status and eventually citizenship for DACA and TPS recipients. We remain committed to advocating for comprehensive immigration reform that not only provides a path to legal status for Dreamers but also addresses the broader complexities of our immigration system.
As we navigate the legal proceedings and discussions surrounding DACA, we reaffirm our commitment to advocating for fairness, justice, and inclusivity in our immigration policies, as well as supporting the rights and aspirations of Dreamers who have enriched our nation through their hard work, resilience, and dedication to the American dream.
September 8, 2023
San Diego, California – The Haitian Bridge Alliance is deeply concerned by recent comments made by Eric Adams, the Mayor of New York City, characterizing migrants as burdens who will destroy cities across America. Mayor Adams’s remarks have elicited significant concerns within the immigrant and migrant advocacy community. It is regrettable that Mayor Adams has taken such a stance regarding migrants, considering his advocacy for sanctuary cities when he was elected in 2021. Mayor Adams was elected in part with support from the very immigrant community he is now attacking, many of whom are Black. Guerline Jozef, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Haitian Bridge Alliance issued the following statement:
“We call upon Mayor Adams to clarify and reconsider his statements, and we urge him to engage in meaningful dialogue with organizations and experts in the field to gain a deeper understanding of the complex issues surrounding migration. We further extend an invitation to Mayor Adams and his administration to collaborate with us and other organizations to ensure that New York City continues to uphold the principles of diversity, equity, and justice for all.”Migrants are protected under domestic and international law, particularly when facing persecution in their home countries. Many of these migrants have undertaken arduous journeys from nations grappling with severe violence, natural disasters, and chronic instability, often exacerbated by climate change, past and current failed U.S. foreign policy interventions.
Contrary to Mayor Adams’s assertion in a recently circulated video that migrants will destroy New York City, migrant workers are essential contributors to industries such as agriculture, hospitality, construction, and caregiving. Foreign-born workers account for more than one in five of all workers in the U.S. food supply chain, performing vital roles such as growing crops, harvesting fruits and vegetables, processing meat, transporting goods, and participating in wholesale and retail sales.
Furthermore, Immigrants disproportionately work in jobs that are labeled essential. As of 2020, there were 19.8 million foreign-born “essential workers, working in positions arrayed across sectors and skill-levels. A higher share (69 percent) of all immigrants, and undocumented immigrants (74 percent), are in the essential work categories compared to native-born workers (65 percent)
The language used by public officials can profoundly influence public perception, and policy decisions, and ultimately impact the lives of those seeking refuge or a better life in the United States. Therefore, it is imperative that leaders at all levels of government demonstrate a commitment to inclusivity, compassion, and respect for the rights of migrants and refugees.
The Haitian Bridge Alliance remains committed to advocating for the rights of migrants and refugees, promoting humane immigration policies, and fostering a more inclusive and welcoming society.
September 5, 2023
San Diego, California – The Haitian Bridge Alliance applauds the Biden-Harris Administration for its recent decision to extend and re-designate Temporary Protected Status for South Sudan for 18 months, from November 4, 2023, through May 3, 2025, due to ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions that prevent individuals from safely returning home. This important step underscores the administration’s commitment to humanitarian values and the protection of vulnerable communities during times of crisis.
Guerline Jozef, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Haitian Bridge Alliance, Co-Founder of the Black Immigrants Bail Fund and the Cameroon Advocacy Network issued the following statement: “We applaud the Biden-Harris Administration for its compassionate decision to extend and redesignate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for South Sudan, which reflects their commitment to humanitarian values. We also take this opportunity to urge the administration to immediately designate and or re-designate for TPS protection Mali, Cameroon, Mauritania, and Afghanistan, acknowledging that crises affecting these nations demand the same urgent attention and compassion.”
South Sudan has endured a series of hardships, including armed conflict, political instability, and economic turmoil. The extension and re-designation of TPS is a lifeline for South Sudanese nationals and it grants them the ability to contribute positively to American society while providing a refuge from the perilous conditions back home.
September 04, 2023
San Diego, California, Monday, September 4, 2023 – Today, we stand together to address the urgent need for livable wages. As we celebrate the invaluable contributions of migrant workers to our communities and economies, we must also confront the stark reality that many of them struggle to make ends meet due to inadequate wages.
Immigrants disproportionately work in jobs that are labeled essential. As of 2020, there were 19.8 million foreign-born “essential workers, working in positions arrayed across sectors and skill-levels. A higher share (69 percent) of all immigrants, and undocumented immigrants (74 percent), are in the essential work categories compared to native-born workers (65 percent).”
In particular, migrant workers are the backbone of industries such as agriculture, hospitality, construction, and caregiving. Foreign-born workers account for more than 1-in-5 of all workers spread across the U.S. food supply chain — growing crops, harvesting fruits and vegetables, processing meat, transporting products and materials, and engaging in wholesale and retail sales.
They often leave their home countries in search of better opportunities and are met with challenging working conditions and wages that do not provide a pathway to economic stability. This Labor Day, we, at Haitian Bridge Alliance raise our voices to demand livable wages for all migrant workers, recognizing that fairness and equity should know no borders.
We call upon employers to acknowledge the indispensable role that migrant workers play in our workforce and to pay them wages that reflect the value of their labor. We also urge Congress to pass legislation to increase the federal minimum wage to ensure it is consistent with the rise of inflation. We must enact inclusive and equitable labor laws that address wage disparities, protect labor rights, and ensure that migrant workers are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.
A livable wage is not a luxury but a fundamental human right. It means more than just subsistence; it means the ability to provide for one’s family, access healthcare, secure safe housing, and pursue a dignified life. It is a reflection of our commitment to justice and compassion.
August 31, 2023
San Diego, California — Today, the Haitian Bridge Alliance proudly joins the global community in commemorating the International Day for People of African Descent. This significant day serves as a reflection of our unwavering commitment to recognizing the rich heritage, remarkable contributions, and enduring struggles of individuals of African descent worldwide.
The International Day for People of African Descent, established by the United Nations through Resolution 75/170, is a momentous occasion designed to “promote the extraordinary contributions of the African diaspora around the world and to eliminate all forms of discrimination against people of African descent.” It is a global platform to honor the cultural, social, and economic contributions of people of African descent throughout history. Furthermore, it is a time to reaffirm our collective dedication to advancing social justice, equity, and the complete eradication of racial discrimination.
As we observe this day, the Haitian Bridge Alliance wholeheartedly acknowledges the profound resilience and cultural enrichment brought about by people of African descent. From the realms of art, music, and literature to the arenas of science, politics, and activism, African heritage has played an indispensable role in shaping our shared global culture. We take this moment to celebrate the vibrancy of this culture and the indelible impact it has had on humanity.
It is noteworthy that 1.6 billion individuals identify themselves as part of the global African Diaspora, with as many as 200 million residing in the Americas. In the Caribbean, an astounding 67 percent of residents are of African descent, while in the United States, 46.8 million people identify themselves as Black or African American. These communities have consistently made significant contributions to the political, economic, and sociocultural development of our nation.
The International Day for People of African Descent is not just a celebration; it is a poignant reminder for the U.S. government to immediately take measures to correct decades of discriminatory treatment towards Haitians and Black asylum seekers and to combat racial discrimination in all its forms. The Haitian Bridge Alliance remains firmly committed to the principles of justice, equity, and inclusivity.
San Diego, California – The Haitian Bridge Alliance mourns with the Jacksonville community following the tragic killings of three Black people on August 26, 2023, at a Dollar General Store.
According to official reports, the murderer, 21-year-old Ryan Christopher Palmeter, who was known for his deep hatred toward Black people, first attempted to enter Edward Waters University, a historically Black college, then drove to the Dollar General store armed with an assault weapon adorned with swastikas and proceeded to take the lives of Angela Michelle Carr, 52, Anolt Joseph “AJ” Laguerre Jr., 19, and Jerrald Gallion, 29.
Guerline Jozef, Founder and Executive Director of the Haitian Bridge Alliance, Co-Founder of the Cameroon Advocacy Network, and Co-Founder of the Black Immigrants Bail Fund issued the following statement:
“Faced with these horrifying acts of terror, it is imperative that we address these atrocities through comprehensive gun reform and dismantle the systematic anti-Black racism, hate violence, and terrorism against the Black community that are ingrained in the very fabric of our nation for far too long. Now more than ever we must all push against the divisive rhetoric and reunite our community to fight against white supremacist ideologies.”
Regrettably, these racially motivated shootings and mass murders are all too common in our nation. In 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recognized domestic terrorism and white supremacy as threats to our democracy. Emmett Till was killed 68 years ago yesterday and we cannot allow such tragedies to continue unchecked. It is our collective responsibility, including the United States Congress, and governors to take immediate and concrete actions and protect our communities, to protect Black Lives and fight against hate and bigotry.
Our deepest condolences go out to the families of Angela Michelle Carr, 52, Anolt Joseph “AJ” Laguerre Jr., 19, and Jerrald Gallion, 29 and all those of us affected by this senseless act of terrorism.
August 25, 2023
Victoria, Texas — Today a bench trial will continue to litigate the CHNV humanitarian Parole Program which was put in place by the Department of Homeland Security in January of 2023 as safe, orderly and humane pathways.
The program allows people from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela to legally enter the U.S. with the support of a U.S based sponsor and utilizing an immigration authority referred to as “parole” based on a program for Ukrainians. The Biden Administration created the first such process in April 2022 without any challenges from neither Texas nor any of the other 20 states.
According to Customs and Border Patrol, more than 160,000 Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans have entered the country under the program through June of this year and have been reunited with their friends, loved ones and families.
Guerline Jozef, Founder and Executive Director of the Haitian Bridge Alliance, the Co-Founder of the Black Immigrants Bail Fund, and the Co-Founder of the Cameroon Advocacy Network, who is attending the hearings, issued the following statement:
“The Humanitarian Parole Program for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans just like the one for the Ukrainians is a beacon of hope for countless individuals fleeing persecution, violence, war, and disasters in their home countries. It is our duty to preserve this lifeline for those who have no other recourse. Over 1.5 million sponsors have already submitted applications in the U.S, a testament to the overwhelming support by the American people to welcome newcomers. We are grateful for the amazing co-counsel at the Justice Action Center (JAC) CLIP and RAICES for representing the seven plaintiffs in the case. We are unwavering in our commitment to tirelessly defend this program and the principles of compassion and justice it embodies.”
The challenge to the program, brought by Texas and joined by 20 other Republican-led states in Texas v. DHS primarily questions claim that the Biden Administration did not go through required procedures and that they constitute an unauthorized use of the statutory parole authority for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans but failed to challenge the same parole program for Ukrainians which was the basis for the CHNV program.
In late March, a group of seven U.S. citizens, represented by Justice Action Center, RAICES, and the Center for Immigration Law and Policy (CILP) at the UCLA School of Law, who had sponsored or were applying to sponsor noncitizens for parole through the CHNV programs, filed a motion requesting to intervene in the lawsuit as defendants, so that they can defend the legality of the parole programs alongside the federal government defendants. We are profoundly grateful for our partners and the citizens who are applying to become sponsors.
This hearing signifies a decisive moment in the ongoing struggle for justice, human rights, and the protection of the rights of vulnerable individuals seeking refuge in the United States. The Haitian Bridge Alliance has remained steadfast at the forefront of efforts to safeguard this crucial program and ensure its continued existence, primarily as a means of safeguarding vulnerable populations. The team will continue to monitor this case.
August 21, 2023
San Diego, California – The Haitian Bridge Alliance, a non-profit organization that advocates for Black immigrant rights and social justice, commends the Biden-Harris Administration for their recent decision to extend and redesignate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Ukraine and Sudan. This important step underscores the administration’s commitment to humanitarian values and the protection of vulnerable communities during times of crisis.
Guerline Jozef, Founder and Executive Director of the Haitian Bridge Alliance, the Co-Founder of the Cameroon Advocacy Network and the Co-Founder of the Black Immigrants Bail Fund issued the following reflection:
“We applaud the Biden-Harris Administration for its compassionate decision to extend and re-designate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Ukraine and Sudan, which reflects their commitment to humanitarian values. We call on Secretary Mayorkas to immediately make positive decisions for TPS protections for Afghanistan, Cameroon, Mauritania, and Mali, acknowledging that crises affecting these nations demand the same urgent attention and compassion.”
Ukraine and Sudan have endured a series of hardships, including armed conflict, political instability, and economic turmoil. The extension and re-designation of TPS is a lifeline for Ukrainian and Sudanese nationals and it grants the ability to contribute positively to American society while providing refuge from the perilous conditions back home.
August 16, 2023Contact: email@example.com
San Diego, California – The Haitian Bridge Alliance mourns the death of Jismary Alejandra Barboza González, a little girl whose life was tragically cut short while riding one of Governor Abbott’s migrant buses.
Guerline Jozef, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Haitian Bridge Alliance, the Co-Founder of the Cameroon Advocacy Network and the Co-Founder of the Black Immigrants Bail Fund issued the followed reflection:
“In Krèyol there is a saying, chèche lavi, pèdi lavi—a life lost while searching for life. Our hearts break at the news that another precious child has died while seeking a better life with her parents. There’s no greater pain than losing a child. We are keeping the parents in our prayers and we will continue the fight so all families searching for safety are treated with compassion, love, and dignity.”
HBA reaffirms its unwavering dedication to championing the rights and dignity of migrants across the globe. In an increasingly interconnected world, the plight of migrants and refugees has become a pressing humanitarian concern. HBA is committed to fight on behalf of all people seeking asylum, especially children and their families. We believe that no one should have to endure such pain, hardship, or insecurity in their migration journey. Our mission is to pave the way for a future where migrants are safe, treated with respect, fairness, dignity and compassion.
Jismary Alejandra Barboza González, gone too soon but never to be forgotten.
August 14, 2023
San Diego, California – Today the Haitian Bridge Alliance (HBA) honors Bwa Kayiman, the historic event that marked the beginning of the Haitian revolution led by Dutty Boukman.
This event holds deep cultural and historical importance for Haiti, its people and Black liberation. The pivotal gathering, that took place in August 1791, marked a turning point in the fight against colonial oppression and slavery, not just in the Republic of Haiti but globally. This powerful event symbolizes Black unity, courage, and the unwavering determination of those who sought freedom and justice. The Haitian Revolution is the only successful slave-led rebellion that led to the first independent Black nation in the world.
Guerline Jozef, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Haitian Bridge Alliance, the Co-Founder of the Cameroon Advocacy Network and the Co-Founder of the Black Immigrants Bail Fund issued the followed reflection:
“As we reflect on Bwa Kayiman, we honor the sacrifices made by our ancestors who dared to challenge the status quo and fought against colonialism and slavery. This historic event serves as an enduring testament to the power of unity, unwavering determination, the pursuit of freedom and Black liberation. It remains a source of inspiration for all who continue to champion justice and equality in the face of adversity and oppression.”
As we pay tribute to Bwa Kayiman, HBA recognizes the resilience of the Haitian people and their enduring spirit. This commemoration serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made and the ongoing struggle for autonomy, liberation, freedom, justice, equality, empowerment and dignity.
HBA remains committed to fostering connections and amplifying the voices of the Haitian community and of all people of African descent. Through our continued efforts, we aim to honor the legacy of Bwa Kayiman and its role in shaping Haiti’s history, Black liberation around the world and the fight for a brighter future. Ayibobo pou Zanset yo!!!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEAugust 11, 2023
San Diego, California − Yesterday, the Department of Homeland Security announced a modernization of the Cuban and Haitian Family Reunification Parole (FRP), allowing the completion of a significant portion of the FRP process on a secure online platform, alleviating the burdens of travel, time, and paperwork. The process will also impact eligible individuals from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Colombia.Guerline Jozef, the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Haitian Bridge Alliance, Co-Founder of the Cameroon Advocacy Network, and Co-Founder of the Black Immigrants Bail Fund said the following: “The Department of Homeland Security’s decision to modernize the Cuban and Haitian Family Reunification Parole processes demonstrates a commitment to empathy, efficiency, and human dignity by streamlining administrative procedures. As we navigate a complex world, these efforts remind us that family bonds transcend borders and our shared humanity finds its voice in actions that honor unity over division.” While the Haitian Bridge Alliance (HBA) applauds this forward-thinking decision, it urges DHS to expand the program’s accessibility. HBA advocates for allowing petitioners to affirmatively apply for the program without the constraint of waiting for an invitation from the Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC) provided they can establish their eligibility independently. Additionally, the organization highlights the pressing need to revise the per-beneficiary application fee, which poses a significant financial barrier. The cumulative impact of factors such as the narrow eligibility window, potential multiple beneficiaries per petitioner, the necessity to await an NVC invitation, and processing time collectively limit the program’s reach and its ultimate goal of expediting family reunification.HBA remains committed to advocating for more fair and just immigration policies. The Haitian Family Reunification Parole (HFRP) program, initiated in 2015 for Haitian nationals, seeks to accelerate family reunification for beneficiaries of family-based immigrant visa petitions filed by specific relatives in the United States. The program’s intention is to grant parole to eligible Haitians awaiting visa availability, facilitating their entry into the United States. Beneficiaries endorsed through the HFRP Program are granted parole into the United States for an initial three-year period. This time frame allows them ample opportunity to apply for Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status once their immigrant visas become accessible, which typically occurs within two years of being paroled into the United States.
July 25, 2023
Contact: Paige Censale firstname.lastname@example.org
San Diego, California, － In a significant development regarding the rights of people seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border, a federal court in California issued a landmark decision today that deemed the Biden administration’s asylum ban policy unlawful. The policy largely presumes migrants ineligible for asylum if they enter without a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) One App appointment unless they applied for protection in a transit country. “The court’s ruling upholds the principles of fairness and compassion, which are vital in the pursuit of justice,” said Guerline Jozef, co-founder and Executive Director of Haitian Bridge Alliance.
Since May 11, 2023 after the end of the barbaric use of Title 42, asylum seekers at the border have been required to use the CBP One app to request an appointment for potential entry. Those who enter without a CBP One appointment are essentially banned from applying for asylum in the United States, with rare exceptions.
However, due to serious flaws with CBP One, including lack of access, unreliable software, connectivity issues, and failure to register darker skin tones, countless asylum seekers at the border are facing insurmountable difficulties in securing an appointment. As a result, their access to the asylum process in the United States has been severely compromised.
“The recent federal court decision brings a ray of hope to those seeking refuge within the United States. It emphasizes the importance of safeguarding the rights of people in migration and ensures they are not unduly hindered in their pursuit of safety and asylum protection,” said Ms. Jozef. “However, it is important to note that the Biden administration will likely appeal the ruling, and the current CBP One app policy remains in effect during this time.”
Nicole Phillips, Legal Director at HBA said, “While the decision signifies a positive development, we advise all migrants to remain cautious and continue scheduling appointments with the CBP One App until further updates are provided. Attempting to enter the U.S. border without a CBP One appointment may still result in detention or a presumption that they are ineligible to apply for asylum.”
The Haitian Bridge Alliance is closely monitoring the situation and will keep the public informed of any updates as they unfold. As we navigate through this critical juncture, we encourage all concerned individuals to remain vigilant and informed. As a nation, let us remain committed to providing a safe and welcoming haven for those seeking refuge no matter where they are from.
For community members: If you have any questions or require assistance, please reach out to HBA’s Kreyol/English/French hotline at +1 (619) 693-8708.
July 21, 2023
New York, New York － This week, the United Nations’ Permanent Forum on People of African Descent (UNPFPAD/’the Permanent Forum”) called on States to provide global reparatory justice to the Republic of Haiti and to end the abuse of Haitian nationals and people of African descent during transnational migration.
The Permanent Forum’s Preliminary Conclusions and Recommendations aligned with the sentiments expressed by over 900 civil society members from around the world, including the Haitian Bridge Alliance (HBA), who participated in the second session held in New York City from May 30 to June 2, 2023. Erik Crew, Staff Attorney with the Haitian Bridge Alliance, in his public statement at the session (Written / Video), called on the Permanent Forum to acknowledge the lack of global reparatory justice for the historical injustices of slavery, colonialism, and neo-colonial imperialism. He recommended that the Permanent Forum call on States to end migration policies based on ‘prevention through deterrence.’
“Haitian Bridge Alliance is committed to uplifting the voices of and solutions for Black people in mobility who are suffering under cruel migrations policies by States and ongoing violations of their human rights,” said Mr. Crew. He further praised the statements and recommendations made by the Permanent Forum, asserting that they warrant the attention of all States and advocates committed to securing human rights for Black people worldwide.
In its conclusions and recommendations, the Permanent Forum acknowledged the pioneering Pan-Africanism of the Haitian people and recognized that the neo-colonial burdens imposed on the Republic of Haiti have significantly contributed to the current crisis in the country. The Forum identified the historical crimes of enslavement, colonialism, and neo-colonialism as fundamental causes of Haitian migration. Consequently, it called on States to end practices such as arbitrary detention, deportations, and pushbacks. Additionally, the Forum urged for the separation of civil migration systems from criminal legal systems and emphasized the importance of ensuring that migration processes adhere strictly to international human rights standards and laws. The Permanent Forum further affirmed that reparations represent the cornerstone of justice in the 21st century and that achieving global reparatory justice necessitates the elimination of all forms of systemic and structural racial discrimination at local, national, regional, and global levels.
These latest recommendations add to the growing number of major human rights bodies calling on States to end the abuse of Black people in mobility. In April, the UN’s Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination issued a Statement calling on States to end discrimination towards Haitians in mobility after a request submitted by HBA and RFK Human Rights through the Committee’s Early Warning and Urgent Action Procedure.
Contact: Tasha Moro, email@example.com
Paola Luisi, firstname.lastname@example.org
June 22, 2023
San Diego — Haitian asylum seekers continue to suffer under the U.S. government’s Haitian Deterrence Policy, plaintiffs in Haitian Bridge Alliance v. Biden allege in a supplemental complaint filed last week. The complaint details the ongoing harms plaintiffs experience nearly two years since they were abused in the CBP encampment in Del Rio, Texas, as well as how the Biden Administration has used new policy mechanisms in a continued effort to deter Haitians from seeking protection in the United States.
As the Title 42 policy was set to expire on May 11, 2023, the Biden Administration published its final asylum ban rule that renders asylum seekers traveling through third countries—as most are forced to do—ineligible for asylum, and requires the use of the unreliable CBP One smartphone app to schedule an appointment to request asylum at a port of entry. Now, the Biden Administration is expanding this asylum ban to apply to migrants who arrive by sea—a means of seeking safety in the U.S. that is primarily used by Haitians and Cubans.
“The world witnessed in horror as Mirard Joseph was abused by a CBP officer on horseback in September 2021 in Del Rio. Over 15,000 migrants, mostly Haitians, were forced to live outside in sweltering heat without shelter, water, food, or medical care, including pregnant women and babies, just to seek asylum,” said Guerline Jozef, co-founder and executive director of Haitian Bridge Alliance (HBA). “Almost two years later, there has been no accountability from the Biden Administration for this abusive and inhumane treatment, and the federal government continues to discriminate against Haitian asylum seekers and deter them from coming to U.S. soil. Our individual plaintiffs in HBA v. Biden who were expelled back to Haiti have been in even more danger than before they fled, not just because of increased instability and danger in Haiti, but also because Haitians expelled from the U.S. are particularly vulnerable to kidnappings and other violence once returned.
“If the U.S. government had honored the constitutional and statutory rights of our Haitian brothers and sister who sought safety in Del Rio in 2021, they would not still be risking their lives to travel back to the border in desperate attempts to survive and other Haitians trapped in life-threatening conditions would seek protection as they’re entitled to do. Lives would be saved. This is anti-Haitian and anti-Black racism. We will not stop until our clients and our community get justice,” concluded Jozef.
Haitian Bridge Alliance et al v. Biden was originally filed on behalf of HBA and 11 individual plaintiffs to hold the government to account for detaining and expelling thousands of Haitians seeking safety in Del Rio, Texas, in September 2021.
Co-counsel in Haitian Bridge Alliance v. Biden are Haitian Bridge Alliance, Innovation Law Lab, Justice Action Center, and Covington & Burling LLP.
# # #
June 15, 2023
Haitian Bridge Alliance (HBA), email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org
Texas Civil Rights Project (TCRP), email@example.com
NEW YORK – This weekend, the wake and funeral for Anadith Danay Reyes Álvarez, the 8-year-old girl who died in U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody, will be held on Friday, June 16, 2023, in New York City, and the burial will be held on Saturday, June 17, 2023, in New Jersey. The Haitian Bridge Alliance (HBA) and Texas Civil Rights (TCRP), are representing the family and conducting an investigation into her death.
While the media is welcome to attend the funeral, the family will not engage in any interviews as they are grieving during this tumultuous time. Any interview requests made will be denied. If you have any questions or are interested in attending the funeral, please contact HBA or TCRP.
In response to reporter inquiries about Anadith’s funeral arrangements, Anadith’s family, TCRP, and HBA have released the following statements:
“We are laying our baby to rest and may she rest in peace. We want justice for her, and we do not want this to ever happen again. We will fight for justice,” said the Álvarez family.
“We mourn alongside Anadith’s family who have been forced to cope with this profound loss. Anadith was a kind child filled with joy who had a heart for helping others – she should still be with us today,” said Kassandra Gonzalez, Staff Attorney with the Beyond Borders Program at the Texas Civil Rights Project. “What happened to Anadith was a tragedy that is rooted in negligence and the systemic reliance on detaining children and families crossing the border. The lack of oversight and access to lawyers while being detained only exacerbated this issue – it is clear that Customs and Border Protection is unequipped to hold itself accountable. This weekend, we stand in support of the family and remain committed to seeking justice for Anadith.”
“During this time of profound loss, it is paramount that we continue to fight for justice for Anadith and her family and all people seeking protection,” said Guerline Jozef, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Haitian Bridge Alliance. “Ana’s death could have been prevented if her and her mother’s cries for medical attention were not dismissed while in CBP custody. When it comes to Black people, we always must fight to prove our humanity and even then, our humanity is denied. No mother and father should have to endure this immense pain.”
TCRP and HBA have sought an independent autopsy of Anadith and are awaiting the results to determine the cause of death. While CBP officials have tried to claim that Anadith was sickly and had prior health conditions, the facts are that when she was apprehended with her family on May 9, 2023, Anadith was healthy, and when she became sick in the detention facility, her mother’s repeated requests for appropriate medical care were denied. Moments after being denied the ability to visit the hospital yet again, Anadith’s mom states her daughter passed away in her arms while in the CBP facility.
June 2, 2023
Haitian Bridge Alliance, firstname.lastname@example.org
San Diego, California – Today, the Texas Civil Rights Project (TCRP) is announcing that we are officially representing the family of Anadith Danay Reyes Álvarez, the 8-year-old girl who died while in CBP custody. TCRP is partnering with the Haitian Bridge Alliance (HBA) to investigate Anadith’s death and advocate so that the U.S. immediately ends the detention of child migrants.
TCRP and HBA are seeking an independent autopsy of Anadith in order to determine the cause of death. While CBP officials have tried to claim that Anadith was sickly and had prior health conditions, the facts are that when she was apprehended with her family on May 9th, Anadith was healthy, and when she became sick in the detention facility, her mother’s repeated requests for appropriate medical care were denied. Moments after being denied the ability to go to the hospital yet again, Anadith’s mom states her daughter passed away in her arms while in the CBP facility.
The statement released by the Customs and Border Protection Office of Professional Responsibility claimed that no officials acknowledged being aware of Anadith’s preexisting condition when in reality, Anadith’s mother told every official she came into contact with about her daughter’s history – including offering to share medical history documents with CBP and medical staff. The statement fails to document important inconsistencies and shows a clear lack of documentation and real accountability. Anadith’s case is not the first instance of a child passing away in CBP custody, TCRP is part of an ongoing legal action over the death of another migrant child who died in CBP custody in May of 2019, Carlos Hernandez Vasquez.
“Anadith’s parents came to this country seeking what most of us want for our children – safety, opportunity, and the chance at a better future, but instead, they were met with tragedy. To add to their suffering and righteous anger, through this statement, the U.S. government is trying to divert responsibility for this little girl’s death away from their own deadly neglect,” said Karla Marisol Vargas, Senior Attorney with the Beyond Borders Program at the Texas Civil Rights Project. “This is not the first time this has happened, and unless Biden orders CBP to stop detaining children in all forms, it will keep happening.”
HBA has long been advocating and fighting for the rights of Black migrants at the border, who are statistically more likely to face abuse and mistreatment in immigration detention and CBP custody. Anadith and her family are Garifuna, an Afro-Indigenous ethnic group from Honduras.
“During this time of profound loss, it is paramount that we continue to fight for justice for Anadith and her family and all people seeking protection,” said Guerline Jozef, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Haitian Bridge Alliance. “Ana’s death could have been prevented if her and her mother’s cries for medical attention were not dismissed while in CBP custody. When it comes to Black people, we always have to fight to prove our humanity and even then, our humanity is denied. No mother should have to go through this immense pain.”
TCRP and HBA respectfully request that press refrain from contacting Anadith’s family directly, who do not wish to speak to the media as they process their grief. If you have any questions please contact TCRP or HBA.
San Diego, California – On the last day of Haitian Heritage Month, the United States sent yet another deportation flight to Haiti, tearing families apart and sending people into insurmountable danger. This recent flight comes after the Biden administration agreed that Haiti’s country conditions warrant an extension and redesignation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Last month the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) urged the US and other governments to “suspend the forced return of Haitians to their country taking into account the current situation in Haiti.” Today’s flight marks the fifth deportation flight of 2023, and the 283rd flight to Haiti since Biden took office.
Guerline Jozef, Co-founder and Executive Director of Haitian Bridge Alliance, the Black Immigrants Bail Fund, and founding member of Cameroon Advocacy Network, issued the following statement:
“We call on the Biden administration to immediately halt deportations to Haiti. Black immigrants continue to be disproportionately impacted by draconian immigration laws. Our communities are overpoliced, hyper vulnerable and the first to be targeted. By continuing these deportations, the administration is knowingly condemning the most vulnerable, who came to us in their time of need, to imminent danger. Deportations to Haiti are intentional violence and blatant anti-Black discrimination.”
We further call on the Haitian Government to prioritize the well being of the Haitian people and reject these deportation flights on the grounds that the country is currently unsafe. It is unconscionable that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean Victor Génus would accept charter flights from the United States. Since taking office, Prime Minister Ariel Henry has continuously called on the international community for military support to address the insecurity crisis in Haiti. According to Human Rights Watch 2021 Report on Haiti, Haiti is experiencing one of the worst outbreaks of violence in decades. The United Nations also reported, from January to May 2022, kidnappings rose by 36% and homicides by 17%. Miami Herald reports that it has been almost two years since the assassination of Haiti’s former President, Jovenel Moïse. The power vacuum has allowed as many as 200 gangs in Haiti, and they control roughly 80% of Port-au-Prince, several other cities, key ports, and roads, according to a study commissioned by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
Earlier this month the Haitian Bridge Alliance joined the National Urban League, NAACP, and the Southern Poverty Law Center in calling on President Biden to take all actions within his authority to protect majority Black immigrants who can’t return to their home countries due to armed conflict, natural disaster, or other emergent humanitarian reasons – including nationals from Haiti. We urge this administration to cease all deportations in light of the deadly conditions that Haitians may face upon their arrival. Deportations to Haiti is a clear example of how the United States continues to contribute to the destabilization of the country.
Haitian Bridge Alliance (HBA), also known as “the Bridge”, is a grassroots community organization that advocates for fair and humane immigration policies and provides migrants and immigrants with humanitarian, legal, and social services, with a particular focus on Black migrants, the Haitian community, women and girls, LGBTQIA+ individuals, and survivors of torture and other human rights abuses. HBA also seeks to elevate the issues unique to Black migrants and builds solidarity and collective movement toward policy change. Anpil men, chay pa lou (“Many hands make the load light”). Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook: @haitianbridge
MAY 25, 2023
Niambé Tomlinson (National Urban League) NTomlinson@nul.org
Paige Censale (Haitian Bridge Alliance) email@example.com
Anna Núñez (Southern Poverty Law Center) firstname.lastname@example.org
San Diego, California — Today, as first reported by The Hill, a coalition of prominent civil rights organizations sent a letter to the Administration calling on President Joe Biden to take all actions within his authority to protect undocumented immigrants — many of whom hail from the African and Caribbean diasporas, have strong family and community ties, and contribute tremendously to the economy. The groups underscored the economic and moral imperative to protect these communities, calling immigration, “one of the key civil rights issues of our time.”
The letter specifically calls for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designations and redesignations for nationals in the U.S. who can’t safely return to their home countries, including nationals from Sudan, South Sudan, Haiti, Cameroon, and other African nations, as well as Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Honduras. It also calls on President Biden to use all tools necessary to protect Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, and urges reduction of overly long case backlogs.
As long-term undocumented immigrants continue to uniquely strengthen the economy and local communities, they have become an inextricable part of our nation’s fabric. However, as the groups outlined in the letter, congressional inaction on immigration reform has left undocumented Black immigrants who have called the U.S. home for decades with uncertainty about their future. The groups are now calling on the Administration to take every executive and agency action possible to help protect these immigrant communities and move towards a more fair and equitable immigration system.
The letter, led by the National Urban League, NAACP, the Southern Poverty Law Center, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., and the Haitian Bridge Alliance, states:
“There is a moral imperative for us to reform our immigration system and overcome the mistakes of our past, particularly as the Black immigrant population represents one of the most rapidly growing immigrant communities in the U.S.
“We, therefore, urge the Administration to take every executive and agency action possible to help ensure that we begin to move to a more fair and equitable immigration system. A number of our organizations have endorsed the solutions in the report titled 2023 Immigration Priorities: A Blueprint for the Biden-Harris Administration. We believe all of these solutions should be on the table as the administration builds a suite of solutions focused on affirmative relief, including: (1) TPS designations and redesignations for nationals in the U.S. who can’t return to their home countries due to armed conflict, natural disaster, or other emergent humanitarian reasons, including nationals from Haiti, Sudan, South Sudan, Cameroon, and other African nations, as well as Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Honduras, as soon as possible; (2) protections by any tool necessary for DACA recipients; and (3) reduction of overly long case backlogs and other related actions.”
“Black immigrants carry the burdens of discrimination on multiple fronts, suffering from a stigma of anti-immigrant sentiment that has surged in recent years, compounded by the stain of anti-Blackness that the nation is still struggling to erase,” said Marc H. Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League. “These communities deserve an equal shot at the American dream, and we urge the Biden Administration to take aggressive action to rid the immigration process of the inequities that put that dream persistently out of reach.”
“Black immigrants continue to be the group most impacted by crimmigration as our communities are overpoliced, hyper vulnerable and subject to extreme racism” said Guerline Jozef, Executive Director of the Haitian Bridge Alliance. “It is of utmost importance that the Biden administration live up to its values and use the full breadth of its executive power to provide essential humanitarian protections including TPS. According to the latest Pew Research, one (1) in ten (10) Black people in the United States are immigrants. The Black immigrant population is projected to account for roughly a third of the U.S. Black population’s growth through 2060. It is time that we acknowledge the contribution of Black immigrants in the United States and urge President Biden and his administration to make sure that racial equity is at the center of all immigration policies and to bring swift action to protect our Black immigrant community.”
“Immigrants make our communities stronger,” said LDF Senior Policy Counsel Amalea Smirniotopoulos. “Yet, we’ve seen an onslaught of attacks in recent years on undocumented immigrants — thousands of whom came to the United States to escape violence, poverty, and environmental disasters. Black immigrants in particular continue to fare worse in our immigration system, and may face higher rates of deportation and detention. We urge President Biden to take all necessary steps to fix our broken immigration system.”
“For too long, anti-Black racism and cruelty have pervaded our immigration system, and it’s time to end unjust treatment and human rights abuses inflicted by our government,” said Efrén C. Olivares, deputy legal director of the Southern Poverty Law Center. “We must return to our nation’s values of being a nation where immigrants forced to flee due to political instability, violence and persecution can find a home and safe haven in the United States. We call upon the Biden administration to take every step to ensure that racial equity is at the forefront of its immigration policies.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEMay 18, 2023
Contact: Paige Censalepcensale@haitianbridge.org
San Diego, California – Today, following last week’s visit of civil rights, human rights, and immigrants rights organizations to Matamoros and Reynosa, Mexico and the Texas Rio Grande Valley, the delegation jointly released “LIVES AT RISK: Barriers and Harms As Biden Asylum Ban Takes Effect.” The report details the abysmal conditions, grave harms, and barriers to protection suffered by people who are now waiting to seek asylum as the Biden administration begins implementation of its new asylum ban.
The delegation, led by the Haitian Bridge Alliance, included leaders and experts from the ACLU, Amnesty International, Amnesty International USA, Human Rights First, NILC, National Immigrant Justice Center, Tahirih Justice Center, UndocuBlack Network, and the #WelcomeWithDignity campaign for asylum rights. Together, the delegation members bore witness to the shocking humanitarian crisis caused by U.S. immigration policies, policies causing unique harms to Black, Brown, and Indigenous people seeking safety.
“At the border, the impact of United States’ politics can be seen clearly,” said Guerline Jozef, Executive Director of the Haitian Bridge Alliance. “At the doorstep to the United States, people fleeing violence and persecution are facing danger and harm as they wait for appointments in a jerry-rigged system and for the U.S. government to meet its obligations to people seeking asylum under federal law and international treaties. The new Biden administration asylum ban will inflict terrible suffering on already extremely vulnerable people, including pregnant women and children. Black and indigenous people will continue to suffer and even be killed as they endure dangerous and inhumane conditions while they wait to seek asylum in the United States of America. We call on the Biden administration to use this as an opportunity to change the tides and move away from these barbaric and cruel policies.”
In Matamoros and Reynosa, Mexico the delegation heard accounts of individuals unable to obtain limited CBP One appointments navigating lack of phone and internet access, others trying to seek asylum at ports of entry without a CBP One appointment turned away or prevented, the precarious and inhumane living conditions in encampments at the border, and the life-threatening dangers and anti-Black racism that people seeking asylum endure while waiting in Mexico. Key findings of the delegation’s report include: People seeking asylum continue to be turned away from ports of entry; People seeking asylum are struggling to secure limited CBP One appointments; Haitian and Black people seeking asylum are targets of anti-Black discrimination and violence; Families continue to be separated; The Biden administration’s new asylum ban, like Title 42 and Remain in Mexico, is stranding many asylum-seeking people in dangerous places where they are targets of violence and kidnappings; Refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants are living in squalid conditions without access to basic services; There is a lack of accessible information about the asylum ban; and There is a tremendous lack of governmental and international support for asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border.
A humane border policy should focus on increased communication, coordination and support for humanitarian aid, shelter and reception at the border and in destination communities, with a focus on local organizations. The delegation reiterates its call for the Biden administration to uphold the legal right to seek asylum and due process, rescind its new asylum ban, maximize access to asylum at ports of entry, and welcome people with dignity and respect. Many of our organizations have provided detailed recommendations to the Biden administration.
Haitian Bridge Alliance (HBA), also known as “the Bridge”, is a grassroots community organization that advocates for fair and humane immigration policies and provide migrants and immigrants with humanitarian, legal, and social services, with a particular focus on Black migrants, the Haitian community, women and girls, LGBTQIA+ individuals, and survivors of torture and other human rights abuses. HBA also seeks to elevate the issues unique to Black migrants and build solidarity and collective movement toward policy change. Anpil men, chay pa lou (“Many hands make the load light”).
Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook: @haitianbridge
San Diego, California – On Monday, March 13, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that certain Ukranians who entered the U.S. at a land border shortly after Russia’s invasion, and were given permission to stay for one year, may be eligible to remain in the United States longer. This humanitarian parole extension will allow upwards 25,000 Ukrainians to live, work and remain with family in the United States.
“We welcome the announcement that humanitarian parole has been extended to Ukrainians and the Ukrainian community; no person or family should ever live in fear of being sent back to danger—and in some cases, death. We call on the administration to live up to its commitment to racial justice and ensure that this welcoming gesture is extended to countries that have also been ravaged by extreme violence, war, and poverty including Haiti, Cameroon, Nicaragua and Somalia, among others. America can and should be a nation that lives up to its moral compass and welcomes with dignity, not a country that forces those who have already lived the unthinkable—leaving everything they know and love behind—to face fear and uncertainty as they begin to rebuild their lives.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEMarch 6, 2023
San Diego, California – On Friday, March 3, 2023, a video and photo surfaced on social media allegedly showing the aftermath of a shooting of three Black men and the potential kidnapping of a Black woman near a migrant encampment in Matamoros on the US-Mexico border. Upon hearing reports of the shooting from migrants in the nearby camp, the Haitian Bridge Alliance reached out to entities in Mexico and the United States immediately to warn them of these extreme acts of violence fearing for the Haitians and other asylum seekers at the US-Mexico border.
“We strongly advise the migrant populations in the Matamoros area, including many Black asylum seekers, to be extremely cautious. Anti-Blackness is endemic in Mexico, and each day that people seeking asylum, including pregnant people, children, and families are forced to wait in these dangerous areas raises the chances of more violence. This is an active investigation so the Haitian Bridge Alliance will continue to reach out to various entities to see if we can clarify whether or not the victims were asylum seekers or indeed US citizens crossing into Mexico as some media outlets have reported. These cruel acts of violence show that whether you are seeking asylum or US citizens of African descent just visiting the Matamoros area, there is no safe place for Black people at the US-Mexico border.”
From Tijuana to Matamoros, Haitians and others seeking safety are victims of extortion, kidnapping and murder by cartels. We call on the US government to restore full asylum access at the border, and for the Mexican government to investigate this violence immediately and do what is necessary to reunite those taken with their loved ones.
February 22, 2023
Contact: Taisha Saintil email@example.comPaola Luisi firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-264-9546
San Diego, California – Yesterday, the Biden Administration announced a proposed Asylum Ban, that would bar any person who enters in between ports of entry or presents at a port of entry without an appointment from seeking asylum in the United States if they had previously transited through a third country and did not petition for asylum there.
“President Biden campaigned on restoring the soul of America, which includes restoring our asylum system. Instead, President Biden has made it a practice of recycling Trump-era policies, like this asylum transit ban announced today. This policy will prevent extremely vulnerable people, especially Black and LGBTQIA+ migrants fleeing from seeking asylum if they did not do so in the other countries that they passed through. This is absurd and illegal and will effectively shut down our asylum system, denying many the opportunity to seek safety. We must immediately change course, uphold our human rights obligations, and create pathways for all seeking safety regardless of how they reach our borders and shores.”
If migrants do travel through a third country and do not meet the asylum ban rules they will be deemed, “ineligible for asylum” and unable to seek asylum for five years. Without a doubt, this policy will put countless lives at risk as migrants’ chance for asylum is taken away. This policy will force people, including many children, into the arms of human traffickers and coyotes who will be left without any other avenues to seek protection.
Although it is unclear when this Trump-era, white supremacist policy will take effect, the administration has only given the public 30 days to weigh in. We urge President Biden and his administration to reject this policy and immediately change course.
February 2, 2023
Contact: Taisha Saintil email@example.comPaola Luisi firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-264-9546
Paul Pierrilus, Who Was Unjustly Deported to Haiti Two Years Ago Today, Must Be Returned to the United States and Reunited with His Family
Washington DC, February 2, 2023 – Two years ago today, on February 2, 2021, the Biden-Harris administration put Paul Pierrilus, a finance consultant from New York, on a deportation flight to Haiti. Born in St. Martin to Haitian parents but raised in New York, Paul was not from and had never been to Haiti. Since the day of his arrival, Paul, now 42 years old, has lived in hiding for his safety during one of the most unstable and dangerous times in Haiti’s modern history. Haiti’s Ambassador to the U.S. Bocchit Edmond said at the time, “Mr. Pierrilus isn’t a Haitian citizen & thus can’t be sent to Haiti.”“Since I’ve been deported to Haiti, Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse got assassinated. How safe can the country be for someone like myself who’s never been here if it’s not safe for its own president?” said Paul Pierrilus. He added, “Literally every other night police officers are getting killed or I hear gang shootings. I’ve crossed paths with people that have been kidnapped and or had family members kidnapped. The insecurity is at an all-time high and there is zero police presence in the streets. I don’t leave my home or take any unnecessary risks out of fear that I’ll be kidnapped or killed. I should never have been deported here and ask the U.S. government and my community to help reunite me with my family who desperately need need me with them in New York.”Guerline Jozef, Co-founder and Executive Director of Haitian Bridge Alliance, the Black Immigrants Bail Fund, and founding member of Cameroon Advocacy Network, said, “I will never forget the call I received from Paul at 2am on February 2, 2021, saying that he was being deported. The Trump administration targeted Paul based on his Haitian background in its premeditated plan to single out Black immigrants for deportation, even though he had lived in the U.S. since he was five years old. After repeated attempts by the Trump administration to deport him, the Biden administration finally did. Paul had never been to Haiti, did not speak Haitian Kreyol, and is not a citizen of Haiti. We ask the Biden administration to establish a meaningful opportunity to return him home to reunite with his family and community in New York, in light of his cruel and unjust deportation.”“It has been two years since the Biden Administration’s cruel decision to deport my constituent and an upstanding member of our Spring Valley community, Paul Pierrilus, to a country he had never been,” said Mondaire Jones, former U.S. Representative for the 17th Congressional District covering Pierrilus’ home of Rockland County. “After my office was able to stop his initial deportation, we were alarmed when ICE pressed forward two weeks later in apparent defiance of President Biden’s own executive order halting deportations for 100 days. The Biden White House has recognized the humanitarian and political crises in Haiti through a series of actions including extensions of TPS. In the same way that U.S. policy prohibits deportations to Ukraine due to dangerous conditions there, we should not be deporting people to Haiti.”“Paul’s story is emblematic of the targeted violence and abuse Haitian immigrants in the United States face at every juncture of the criminal legal and immigration systems,” said Sarah Decker, staff attorney at Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, “We know that U.S. immigration policy has historically singled out Haitians for deportation and has consistently blocked them from accessing the protection they are entitled to under U.S. and international law. Despite the fact that Paul lived in New York with his family and community for over thirty years, on this day two years ago, he was taken from his family, without any notice or warning by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and disappeared. We demand that the Biden administration bring Paul home. In light of the current conditions in Haiti, his deportation can only be understood as an unconscionable act of targeted violence.”
Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that has worked to realize Robert F. Kennedy’s dream of a more just and peaceful world since 1968. In partnership with local activists, we advocate for key human rights issues— championing change makers and pursuing strategic litigation at home and around the world. And to ensure change that lasts, we foster a social-good approach to business and investment and educate millions of students about human rights and social justice. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, and Twitter: @RFKHumanRights.
Taisha Saintil : email@example.comPaola Luisi: firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-264-9546
Biden Administration Publishes the Long-Awaited Federal Registration Notice Allowing Haitians in the U.S. on or Before November 6, 2022 to Apply For Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
San Diego, California — The Haitian Bridge Alliance applauds the Biden Administration’s publication of the Federal Register Notice (FRN) yesterday, which allows eligible Haitians who are already in the United States on or before November 6, 2022, to apply for Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
Guerline Jozef, the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Haitian Bridge Alliance, stated the following:
“We welcome the administration’s support for Haitian immigrants through the TPS program that will provide them protection from deportation. In addition, they will be able to obtain employment authorization to provide for themselves and their families with dignity, pay taxes and give back to their community. On behalf of our community members, we send a strong mèsi anpil (thank you) to all of our partners who have been working hand-in-hand with us from the beginning to provide the Haitian community with TPS protection. This is undeniable proof that many hands make the load lighter! We are looking forward to continuing to work in collaboration to make sure that all immigrants are protected, particularly vulnerable Black migrants who remain stuck at the U.S.-Mexico border. In the same respect, we continuously call for the designation of all other countries that warrant it, such as Mauritania and the Democratic Republic of Congo.”
The Haitian Bridge Alliance calls on Secretary Mayorkas and President Biden to push the eligibility date for Haitians who are already in the United from November 6 2022 to January 26, 2023, to reflect the date of the Federal Register Notice.
Wednesday, January 11, 2022
Washington, D.C.—Following the recent announcement from the Biden-Harris Administration that Haitians are eligible for humanitarian sponsorship through the Processes for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans (CHNV), Welcome.US and the Haitian Bridge Alliance are partnering to mobilize sponsors interested in helping Haitians fleeing danger and seeking refuge in the United States.
Since April 2022, nearly 200,000 Americans have stepped up to sponsor Ukrainians through the successful Uniting for Ukraine program, which was used as a model for the CHNV process. American citizens and lawful permanent residents now have the same opportunity to extend such compassion to Haitians fleeing gang violence, abject poverty, political instability, and gender based violence. Those interested in sponsoring a newcomer should visit welcome.us/uscis-sponsorship to learn more on eligibility and sign up for more information.
Statements from Welcome.US and Haitian Bridge Alliance:
“The inspiring results of the humanitarian sponsorship programs for Ukrainians and Venezuelans speak for themselves: We know that our society is eager to get involved in welcoming newcomers. Everyday people can now serve as the bridge to safety for Haitian children and families who have been forced to flee their homes, and we at Haitian Bridge Alliance are proud to partner with Welcome.US to demystify and facilitate this process.” – Guerline Jozef, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Haitian Bridge Alliance
“Sponsors across the country have already stepped up to show the world who we are as Americans: people who welcome those seeking refuge, self-determination, and the fulfillment of their human potential. We are honored to work with the Haitian Bridge Alliance, who has worked tirelessly and effectively to advocate for the Haitian people and support a thriving community in the United States, to extend this new humanitarian sponsorship program to as many people as possible.” – Nazanin Ash, CEO of Welcome.US
The humanitarian and political crisis in Haiti is dire. More than 1.5 million children in Haiti, nearly one-third of the country’s youth, are in urgent need of emergency relief due to shortages of food and water amid political and economic turmoil and escalating gang violence, according to UNICEF. The United Nations Security Council continues to consider an international intervention in the country as key political leaders, including a former president, are sanctioned for drug trafficking, abusing their power, and financing gang violence.
Welcome.US provides resources to potential sponsors so that they have the information they need to use these safe, orderly, and designated pathways to help welcome displaced people in need of refuge into their communities and support newcomers as they rebuild their lives. These include informational materials, educational training, resources, tools, and guides to navigate the application process and the entire sponsorship journey.
Welcome.US is also working with community organizations and diaspora groups to recruit Cubans and Nicaraguans who are also included in the CHVN process, in addition to continuing the work to find sponsors for Ukrainians and Venezuelans.
At Welcome.US, our mission is to unleash the desire and capacity of Americans to welcome newcomers and help them thrive. We operate on the evidence that direct participation with newcomers transforms both the welcomer and those being welcomed. By making it easier for Americans from all walks of life to participate in the work of welcoming — and telling their stories — we are building a movement that celebrates America’s welcoming spirit by providing an opportunity to serve for all who seek to welcome. Our diverse community of Welcomers reaches across real and perceived divides to meet the needs of newcomers more effectively. In partnership with local and national resettlement agencies, diaspora organizations and leaders, refugees, community sponsorship groups, nonprofits, businesses, faith-based institutions, veterans, universities, four former Presidents and four former First Ladies, Welcome.US is a single point of entry for Americans who want to get involved and support those who are starting new lives in the United States. To learn more about Welcome.US, please visit welcome.us.
Haitian Bridge Alliance (HBA), also known as “the Bridge”, is a community organization that advocates for fair and humane immigration policies and provides migrants and immigrants with humanitarian, legal, and social services, with a particular focus on Black migrants, the Haitian community, women and girls, LGBTQIA+ individuals, and survivors of torture and other human rights abuses. HBA also seeks to elevate the issues unique to Black migrants and builds solidarity and collective movement toward policy change. Anpil men, chay pa lou (“Many hands make the load light”). Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook: @haitianbridge
Taisha Saintil – email@example.com Paola Luisi – firstname.lastname@example.orgDated: 1.6.2023
San Diego, California – Today, the Biden-Harris administration announced a parole program allowing some migrants from Haiti, Nicaragua, Cuba, and Venezuela with U.S.-based sponsors to seek shelter in the United States. President Biden also announced that migrants from the same countries will face immediate expulsion to Mexico under Title 42 if they enter irregularly to the U.S.-Mexico border seeking asylum.
Guerline Jozef, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Haitian Bridge Alliance, the only Black-led non-governmental organization at the U.S.-Mexico border, said the following:
“While today’s announcement that the administration is opening more pathways for Haitians, Venezuelans, Cubans, and Nicaraguans to come to the United States is a step in the right direction, this announcement does not bring closer to restoring our broken immigration system. The right for all – regardless of national origin – to seek asylum should be fully restored. The creation of the parole program should not have come at the expense of barring others from exercising their rights to asylum. We are extremely concerned the administration is returning to some of Trump’s era practice of expelling asylum seekers to Mexico without the opportunity to seek protection and re-introducing an asylum transit ban” said Guerline Jozef, co-founder and Executive Director of Haitian Bridge Alliance. “We are also extremely concerned that the new parole program will be inaccessible to the most vulnerable amongst us, particularly those en route to the US border who will be ineligible for this program. We see firsthand the negative consequences and disproportionate impact on Black migrants that the current state of our immigration system brings. We can have a fair, orderly, and humane immigration system that welcomes all with respect and dignity.”
Haitian Bridge Alliance (HBA), also known as “the Bridge”, is a grassroots community organization that advocates for fair and humane immigration policies and provides migrants and immigrants with humanitarian, legal, and social services, with a particular focus on Black migrants, the Haitian community, women and girls, LGBTQIA+ individuals, and survivors of torture and other human rights abuses. HBA also seeks to elevate the issues unique to Black migrants and builds solidarity and collective movement toward policy change. Anpil men, chay pa lou (“Many hands make the load light”)
Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook: @haitianbridge
San Diego, CA, December 5, 2022 – Haitian Bridge Alliance is pleased with the Biden-Harris administration’s decision to extend and redesignate Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). As the UN Security Council is considering an international intervention in Haiti to open aid corridors and resolve what the UN Secretary-General calls an “absolutely nightmarish situation” caused by gang violence, the dire situation in Haiti is only exacerbated by the cholera pandemic and the crippling economy with an inflation rate of 30 percent. According to a recent report by the UN, 4.7 million people in Haitian Nationals are facing acute hunger, including 19,000 in catastrophic famine conditions for the first time. It is also estimated that nearly 50 percent of the capital’s population is directly affected by gang violence, and 4.5 million need humanitarian assistance.
Guerline Jozef, Co-founder and Executive Director of Haitian Bridge Alliance, the Black Immigrants Bail Fund, and founding member of Cameroon Advocacy Network, said “We welcome this much-needed announcement from the Biden administration. We rejoice and celebrate with our Haitian siblings and stand undeterred, in solidarity as we continue to work with and for the Haitian and Haitian-American communities. We are grateful for all our partner organizations, many of whom supported the letter led by the Haitian Bridge Alliance calling for the extension and redesignation of TPS for Haiti. This is another example of ‘Anpil men, chay pa lou.’ We acknowledge that there is much work to be done to welcome all people in need of protection with dignity and center the voices and narratives of Black migrants and immigrants. As we celebrate, we urge for the swift release of the Federal Register Notice as well as the release of all Haitians currently in immigration detention centers. We also call for the same protection for all deserving of safety, such as Nationals from Mauritania, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and others.”
Taisha Saintil, Advocacy, and Communications Associate and Founding Member of Cameroon Advocacy Network, said “ Today’s decision secures protection for thousands of Haitians in the United States living in fear and uncertainty. Although we are elated, we do acknowledge that this decision came after much advocacy, and inspired fear in the hearts and minds of Haitians all across the country. It is without a doubt that the Biden Administration not only made the morally right decision but also the one that makes the most sense for the United States. As highlighted by a report by FWD.us, Haitians who are living in the U.S. and are currently eligible for TPS contribute $2.6 billion to our economy each year, and 81% of them are in the labor force, providing essential services at a time of worker shortages and high inflation. This redesignation of TPS allows more Haitians in the U.S. to enroll in the program and contribute their skills and talents to American communities and the American workforce. As we continue to fight with our allies to ensure the total eradication of anti-Blackness within the immigration system, we take this moment today to thank the administration for this decision.”
Haitian Bridge Alliance (HBA), also known as “the Bridge”, is a grassroots community organization that advocates for fair and humane immigration policies and provides migrants and immigrants with humanitarian, legal, and social services, with a particular focus on Black migrants, the Haitian community, women and girls, LGBTQIA+ individuals, and survivors of torture and other human rights abuses. HBA also seeks to elevate the issues unique to Black migrants and builds solidarity and collective movement toward policy change. Anpil men, chay pa lou (“Many hands make the load light”).
Taisha Saintil, Haitian Bridge Alliance, email@example.comBlaine Bookey, Center for Gender & Refugee Studies, firstname.lastname@example.org | (415) 703-8202Anthony Enriquez, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, email@example.com | (917) 941-9141Carolyn Tran, Communities United for Status and Protection, firstname.lastname@example.org | (415) 377-4711
November 10, 2022 – The Haitian Bridge Alliance (HBA) led a delegation of human rights defenders—composed of thirteen representatives from HBA, the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS), Communities United for Status and Protection (CUSP), Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, and Panamanian advocates —to Panama from October 21 through October 29, 2022, to investigate the migration process and reception and treatment of people seeking refuge. The delegation traveled across the country, observing migrant reception centers in Panama’s Darién Province along the southern border with Colombia and in Panama’s Chiriquí Province along its northern border with Costa Rica. In these regions and in Panama City, the delegation spoke with dozens of refugees and met with government officials, civil society representatives, and international organizations.
“Given this spiraling situation in Haiti, many Haitians may be harmed or even killed if they stay in Haiti. They are forced to migrate in search of safety, often making this long and dangerous journey through the Americas to the U.S. Mexico border, where they hope to seek protection and join their family in the United States,” says Guerline Jozef, co-founder and Executive Director of Haitian Bridge Alliance. “Instead of receiving access to their right of protection, many Haitian asylum seekers along the border are dying of violence and medical neglect as they wait for months and even years for the chance to enter the United States – blocked by Title 42 policies that have closed the border to asylum seekers since March 2020.”
The delegation will release a report on its findings as part of a push for a comprehensive assessment of the human impacts of States’ migration policy in the Americas and State compliance with commitments made in the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection. The delegation was first organized in response to reports the organizations received from Haitian migrants of violence and a lack of protection in Panama’s Darién Gap, including gruesome stories of sexual and gender-based violence. The investigation also sought to understand the key role Panama’s Darién Gap plays for people in migration through the Americas and to document the human impacts of the United States and other States’ immigration policies on people exercising their right to human mobility and seeking protection throughout the region and (non)access to justice where their rights are violated. Along with meeting and interviewing Haitians in migration, the delegation spoke with people in mobility from Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, and Africa, and witnessed the cruelty inflicted by the United States October 12 policy change towards Venezuelan refugees.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASENovember 4, 2022
CONTACTTaisha Saintil, email@example.comEmily Morris, firstname.lastname@example.org, 213-457-7458
WASHINGTON — Haitian Bridge Alliance, the National Immigration Law Center, and over 280 civil and human rights organizations sent a letter calling on President Biden to protect Haitian asylum seekers. The administration must not send Haitians seeking safety back to Haiti, third countries, or detain them in Guantánamo Bay.
The letter, published today by the Haitian Bridge Alliance and NILC, outlines the United States’ pattern of disparate and discriminatory treatment towards Haitian refugees seeking protection and the prior human rights abuses that Haitians previously suffered from while detained at Guantánamo Bay. The letter also details concrete steps the Biden administration can take to protect Haitian asylum seekers, uphold human rights, and follow through on commitments to advance racial equity.
“It is past time for the United States, and the Biden administration, to pursue these rights-respecting actions, and end the pattern of discriminatory and disparate treatment inflicted on Haitians seeking U.S. protection,” the letter states. “During your administration, Haitians have been met with summary push-backs at the hands of the U.S. Coast Guard. People have died and continue to die at sea while seeking protection at U.S. shores. Rather than protecting them, the United States further victimizes these individuals by returning them to danger.”
The letter continues, “Your administration has the power to turn the page on these harmful and discriminatory policies. We urge you to do right by Haitian people seeking protection, whether by land or at sea, to live up to our humanitarian obligations, and build an equitable humanitarian protection system that welcomes those seeking refuge.”
A PDF of the full letter and signatories can be found here.
San Diego, California, August 31, 2022 – On International Day for People of African Descent, the Haitian Bridge Alliance (HBA) honored the contributions of Toussaint Louverture, the leader of Haiti’s revolution that ended slavery and started the fight for Black liberation, and calls on all people and organizations to use every forum available to advance the human rights of people of African descent.
On August 18, 2022, Guerline Jozef, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Haitian Bridge Alliance visited and honored the gravesite of Toussaint Louverture in Fort de Joux, France. She stood in Mr. Louverture’s prison cell in Château de Joux where Mr. Louverture was imprisoned after he led the successful revolutionary war against France, and she contemplated his life and legacy.
Before traveling to Fort de Joux and Mr. Louverture’s final resting place, Ms. Jozef had presented and advocated before the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) in Geneva, Switzerland. HBA led a coalition report to the CERD about the U.S. laws, policies, and practices that result in racist and xenophobic treatment against Black non-citizens—migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.
In addition to the CERD report in July 2022, HBA has been focusing more on international accountability mechanisms, including a report in August 2021 to the UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism and Xenophobia, a report in January 2022 to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, where it then spoke up on behalf of Black people and others being subject to rights violations and sexual and gender-based violence in Panama’s Darien Gap.
The Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI), Human Rights First (HRF), The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights (RFK Human Rights) co-authored the report to CERD, and both BAJI and RFK Human Rights presented before CERD. The report and advocacy were endorsed by the Communities United for Status and Protection (CUSP) and Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH). On Tuesday, the Committee issued Concluding Observations that took up many of the concerns and recommendations that this coalition raised to it.
“HBA continues to fight for Mr. Louverture’s legacy every day through our work with Black migrants stuck along the U.S.-Mexico border or locked in immigrant detention centers, and we know many great people and organizations do the same,” said Ms. Jozef. “It is up to us, with the knowledge we gain through this work, to ensure that global governance systems know the truth about what is happening to Black people and to assert our inalienable human rights in the face of States that trample upon them–just like Toussaint Louverture and our ancestors did before us. We ask for all willing to join us in making the record on the international stage about State abuses to use the international human rights governance and monitoring structure to ensure States fulfill their duties to Black people and other groups harmed by the legacies of slavery, colonialism, and neo-colonial imperialism.”
“As someone who has lived through all the issues that Black people face in the Americas through my own journey to the States,” said Daniel Tse, HBA staff member and founder of the Cameroonian Advocacy Network. “It is powerful to see these issues addressed on the international stage and to see the clear calls for accountability for State abuses against People of African Descent.”
“Though it can be hard to see sometimes, the struggles of People of African Descent all across the world are interconnected,” said Erik Crew, the Staff Attorney at the Haitian Bridge Alliance who has spearheaded HBA’s international advocacy. “My African ancestors came up through slavery in the United States, and people helping them when they were fleeing State-sanctioned violence in the South is one of the reasons I am here today. We honor them and those that stepped up to help them every day with our work at HBA.”
The Bridge celebrates this collaboration and is inspired by the heroes of the Haitian Revolution, who had to find ways to make bonds and forge alliances out of African nations that had been thrown together as a monolith in slavery, speaking different languages, practicing different religions, having different customs, but who could unite to be the first to end slavery in the Americas.
Geneva, Switzerland, August 8 2022 – Today, the Haitian Bridge Alliance, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Human Rights First, The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services submitted a Shadow Report to the United Nations’ Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) during its 107th session, denouncing anti-Black discrimination against non-citizens and ongoing violations of international protections for migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers of African descent in and at the border of the United States. The report was also endorsed by Communities United for Status and Protection and the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti.
The report argues that the US immigration and refugee laws, regulations, policies and practices are in violation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The link to the full report can be found here.
Guerline Jozef, Founder and Executive Director of the Haitian Bridge Alliance, shared the following from Geneva:
“I will never forget the horrors I witnessed the United States commit against Black toddlers in Del Rio, Texas. The viral photo of the officer on horseback chasing and whipping a Black man getting his family food is only the tip of the iceberg: It is the product of a systemically racist approach to treating Black women, men, children—even babies—with cruelty. We submit this report alongside our partners in an effort to document these atrocities and demand the United States do all withing its reach to fully rescind Title 42, do a complete wind down of the Migrant Protection Protocols, and treat people with basic human dignity.”
San Diego, California, July 7, 2022 – A year ago today, we woke in shock to the terrible news of the assassination of Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse. As writer Edwidge Danticat states, “A year after Moïse’s assassination, his murder remains unsolved, like those of so many other Haitians before and since.” Many close to Prime Minister Ariel Henry’s government are suspected of being involved in the assassination, including Mr. Henry himself.
Meanwhile, gangs are brutalizing Haitians with kidnappings, sexual assault, arson, and mass kidnappings, rendering Haiti uninhabitable for many. Entire neighborhoods such as Martissant have been internally displaced and forced to flee, while the U.S. government is fumbling any chance at a sustainable Haitian-led solution to the crisis by supporting Henry.
“Given this spiraling situation in Haiti, many Haitians may be harmed or even killed if they stay in Haiti. They are forced to migrate to ‘CHECHE LAVI’ in search of safety, often making the long and dangerous journey through the Americas to the U.S. Mexico border, where they hope to seek protection and join their family in the United States,” says Guerline Jozef, co-founder and Executive Director of Haitian Bridge Alliance. “Instead, many Haitian migrants along the border are dying of violence and medical neglect as they wait for months and even years for the chance to enter the United States – blocked by Title 42 policies that have closed the border to asylum seekers since March 2020.”
In Tijuana, Mexico, Haitian Bridge Alliance spoke with family members of those who have died this year, including the father of 18-year-old “J.L.” who spent two days in the hospital with stomach pains but was released with little more than prescriptions for medications. Three days later she died of medical neglect; she should never have been released from the hospital. “C.A.” died a few days after he was released from the hospital and told to come back another day despite feeling ill. An ambulance took him to the morgue ostensibly for an autopsy, but when his brother picked up his body, he had been disfigured, cut up, and mutilated – a likely victim of organ trafficking in the Mexican state-run morgue. 35-year-old “A.J.” was robbed and severely beaten outside a bank, and died several days later after a hospital refused to treat him. (For more stories like these, please see the Seven Case Profiles of Medical Neglect and Violence Against Haitian Migrants in Tijuana attached below)
“The Haitian Bridge Alliance primarily consists of directly-impacted individuals that work with the community that they represent. These stories of abuse are personal and painful to us. I’m tired of having to bury my brothers and sisters who die off the shores of Puerto Rico, in Panama’s Darien Gap, or at the U.S. Mexico border,” said Ms. Jozef. “Given President’s Biden campaign promises to immigrants, we demand that he reinstate safe access to asylum protection. It’s time for the Biden-Harris administration to recommit to ending cruel policies such as Title 42, MPP, and Operation Lone Star, which force people fleeing danger to wait for months or years in peril at the border or put them in the hands of smugglers and traffickers. At the same time, the U.S. government must address the root causes of Haitian migration and commit to real, strategic, and sustainable Haitian-led solutions so Haitians may thrive at home.
“This is the life of migrants here, we are treated like animals”
San Diego, California, July 7, 2022 – As we hear stories of migrants all around the world suffering from neglect and abuse, leading to much pain and suffering and sometimes death, Haitian Bridge Alliance mourns those Haitian men and women who died so far this year in Tijuana, Mexico. We mourn alongside the five families for whom we organized the funerals for their loved ones and for the others that we accompanied on their journey, and for all those who lost their lives unbeknownst to us in Mexico. We also mourn the countless lives lost at sea, including the forty Haitians who died off the coast of Puerto Rico in May 2022, for whom we have only been able to recover eleven bodies.
Below are profiles of seven tragic deaths in Tijuana. From medical negligence to targeted violence, their lives will not be forgotten in their tragic journey from Haiti to foreign lands in the hopes of reaching safety in the United States.
And then there are those Haitians who were victims of outright violence in Mexico.
This is the fate of more and more Haitian men, women, and children at the border in Mexico. A.J.’s friend summarizes the reality that Haitians face on their journey to the United States, “It is frightening because the same type of violence that we are leaving our country for is the same violence we are finding on our path to what we imagined was comfort.”
Yet, we as Haitians, as we have always done, will continue to fight for what is right, as attested by C.A.’s sister’s vow: “We are poor now, but when God gives me the opportunity, I will find out what happened to my brother’s organs so that it may never happen again.”
San Diego, California, June 29, 2022 — Haitian Bridge Alliance (HBA) mourns with the survivors and families of migrants who lost their lives in San Antonio on June 27, as they sought safety and protection in the United States. “My heart is heavy as we grieve the loss of precious lives, but I am also angry,” said Guerline Jozef, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Haitian Bridge Alliance. “These vulnerable people seeking refuge died because the United States continues to impose barriers to people in search of protection, creating a system for smugglers and traffickers to thrive, rather than protecting these vulnerable people at our border. We must come together and make sure that the U.S. government ends its cruel, inhumane and ineffective deterrence policies and restores access to asylum so people don’t fall prey to smugglers and human traffickers.”
HBA also mourns the death and torture of as many as 37 African migrants attempting to cross from Morocco to the Spanish enclave of Melilla on June 24. Shocking videos circulated of hundreds of young Black men piled on top of each other on the ground like corpses (unclear who was dead or alive), while Spanish law enforcement beat them with batons. The abuse of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers is a global atrocity and must be stopped.
Ms. Jozef, “The tragic death of the migrants in San Antonio and Morocco, as well as the 42 young Haitians including eleven women who lost their lives off the coast of Puerto Rico, is a painful reminder of the violence against the 15,000 Haitian and other asylum seekers who tried to seek protection in Del Rio, Texas last September and were met with armed resistance by the U.S. We witnessed people die from lack of access to water, food, and medical care. Almost one year later, and despite President Biden and Vice President Harris’s promises of accountability, no one has received justice. This war against migrants must stop. We implore President Biden to reinstate safe access to asylum protection. It’s time to end Title 42, MMP, Operation Lone Star, and to stop putting people fleeing danger in the hands of smugglers and traffickers.”