This week images of U.S. Border Patrol agents ruthlessly chasing and rounding up Haitian immigrants have shocked and horrified us all. Right now there are thousands of people from Haiti seeking safety in the United States who are fleeing the devastation wrought by natural disaster and civil unrest. Instead of responding to those needs by offering safety and welcome; the administration continues to deploy deportation and detention as their primary response. There is a long history of humanitarian failures to Haiti and these actions undermine the laws that determine access to asylum and more importantly undermine our moral standing as a country.
It is critical that Congress put pressure on the administration to end their practice of using Title 42 as justification for these expulsions. Title 42 is a public health order that allows the administration to not allow for entry, even for those seeking asylum. There is no public health benefit to this and it is being used to deport those legally presenting themselves to ask for asylum and safety. Instead there should be administrative actions taken including expanding the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation, offering Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) designations and the option to use humanitarian parole for Haitian arrivals.
Congress must also hold those responsible for the egregious abuses and open violence that Haitian migrants are being subjected to. There must be an investigation and consequences for the flagrant human rights abuses.
Answering the call to love our neighbor looks like a lot of different things, but it is unambiguous in intent – we must do more and do better for care for our Haitian neighbors. Join with us as people of faith to urge Congress and the administration to take these critical steps.