Open letter to President Biden from the Haitian Diaspora


September 23, 2021


President Joseph R. Biden

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20500 United States


Dear President Biden,

The Haitian-American community deplores the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents’ inhumane assaults against the powerless migrants at Rio Grande earlier this week. We are calling on you, Mr. President, to instruct Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas to restrain the CBP. We demand an immediate stop to the deportation of Haitians back to Haiti, which is still reeling from the assassination of its president and has yet to recover from the disastrous August 14th earthquake that killed over 2,200 people, injured more than 12,000 and left over 650,000 in need of humanitarian assistance.


Mr. President, the crisis at the border brings with it opportunities for your administration to engage with the Haitian diaspora to tackle some of the fundamental issues that have resulted in so many Haitian migrants risking their lives to get to the border. US policy has supported a variety of corrupt dictatorships in Haiti, with the result that Haitians are forced to flee to find a better life. Ambassador Foote’s resignation letter to Secretary Blinken underscored what Haitians have always known and that is how the “deeply flawed” US policy towards Haiti has consistently led to “catastrophic” results. It is now time to turn the page. This reset starts by supporting the efforts of Haitian civil society (not the status quo) to find structural solutions to Haiti’s socio-political and economic challenges.


For over two centuries, Haiti has been a steadfast ally of the United States. As we work to strengthen the bond between the countries, the more than two-million strong Haitian-American community:

  • Demand an end to the deportation of Haitians under title 42 and their inhumane treatment at the border.

  • Strongly urge Secretary Blinken to immediately appoint a new Special Envoy to Haiti to engage with Haitian civil society and support Haitian-led solutions towards a path of true democracy.

  • Demand the active inclusion of the Haitian diaspora in the public policy process which will have direct bearing on their home country.

Mr. President, this moment provides a unique opportunity for the United States to reset its relationship with Haiti and the Haitian-American community. Haitians deserve better and we are confident your administration will do better.


Respectfully,


Alix Desulme, NHAEON

Patrick Gaspard

Dr. Jean-Philippe Austin

Marleine Bastien, FANM

Johnny Celestin

Father Reginald Jean Mary

Gepsie Metellus, Sant La

Michelle Austin Pamies, Esq.

Dr. Larry Pierre

Mona Rigaud

Tamara B. Rodriguez

Dina Simon