The bridge across all of our programs is the desire to change United States policies that impact the people we work with. Extreme poverty and vulnerability in Haiti and Nicaragua lead families to make the heartbreaking decision to migrate, to the United States or elsewhere. Our priority is addressing the root causes of migration in Haiti and Nicaragua. At the same time, we believe that we must insist on fair policies in the United States that promote the dignity of migrants. Current priorities:
End Title 42 and Remain in Mexico, and secure asylum once again at our borders
Work in solidarity with migrants traveling in Central America and Mexico
Bring a social justice framework to the United States’ policies that impact our partners in Haiti and Nicaragua, with an emphasis on non-intervention.
The Biden administration extended and redesignated Temporary Protected States (TPS) for Haiti on Monday, December 5, 2022. Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas made the decision after the administration received pressure from US advocates and members of Congress.
November 1, 2022
Mr. Jorge Abad
Area Director for Central America and the Caribbean
USDA APHIS PPQ Preclearance and Offshore Programs
4700 River Road, Unit 66
Riverdale, MD 20737
RE: Mango Preclearance Program in Haiti
Dear Mr. Abad,
We are writing as partner organizations to groups working with small-scale producers in Gros Morne, Haiti.
The armed group, the G-9 Families and Allies, seizing control of the fuel terminal at Varreux has dominated news from Haiti for the past two months. The group’s blockade of fuel entering the country impacted food delivery and medical supply chains just as cholera was presenting again. The blockade, and apparent inability of Haiti’s police to deal with the situation, became the chief talking point for those seeking an armed intervention. Over the last six days the situation has changed.
On Wednesday, September 7, thousands of people mobilized throughout Haiti in demonstrations against the de facto government of Ariel Henry. Protests against the government have been growing as insecurity has gotten worse, and the economy continues to decline.
The United States Coast Guard is intercepting refugees from Haiti and Cuba and returning them back to their home countries in record numbers. As of August 12, 2022, the US Coast Guard had interdicted 6,812 Haitians since the current fiscal year began; over 4,000 Cubans have been intercepted as well.
The crisis of insecurity in Port au Prince is severe. In July alone nearly 500 people were killed when rival gangs warred in Cite Soleil. Armed groups control transportation routes into and out of the capital, and use this position to extort travelers and businesses, engage in kidnappings, and use extreme violence against those challenging their position.
UPDATE: The DC Attorney General's office, whose funding is separate from that of the mayor's office, has announced a grant program of $150,000 to aid nonprofits leading the welcoming response. We welcome this news, but unfortunately this level of funding is still woefully inadequate to meet the needs of mutual aid groups.
Haitian migrants were expelled at much higher rates than the nationals of other countries similarly situated during the twenty-seven months since Title 42 policies were first implemented. Haitians were at least 3X more likely to be expelled compared to nationals of almost all other countries, except for those who could, by agreement between the United States and Mexico, be expelled directly into Mexico. This pattern changed in June of this year, with a significant drop in the percentage of Haitians encountered being expelled, a trend that seems to be continuing into July.
Acting Prime Minister Ariel Henry and his “September 11th” coalition met with representatives of the Montana Accord last week to discuss how to end the country's political stalemate. The Montana Accord is a civil society-led transition proposal negotiated last year at the Montana Hotel that hundreds of national and local organizations have endorsed. A coalition of political parties referred to as the PEN joined the Montana group earlier this year. Close allies of Henry quickly assembled his September 11th coalition last year after the Montana proposal was announced.