Urge DHS to reverse its detention and deportation policy for Haitian immigrants

Action: Call the office of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson at 202-282-8000 and urge him to immediately stop detaining and start protecting Haitian immigrants in the U.S. See sample script below.

Background: In recent months, a growing number of Haitian immigrants have arrived at the U.S. border from Brazil and Venezuela where they fled after the 2010 earthquake. Most have family here and had been receiving “humanitarian parole” to stay in the U.S. for 1-3 years. On Sept. 22, the Obama administration abruptly ended this policy and announced they would deport more immigrants to Haiti – a country facing post-earthquake housing shortages, a cholera epidemic affecting more than 1 million, and new damage from Hurricane Matthew.

The new policy is causing families to be separated at the border (men are held separately from women and children). Some of the new arrivals could be held in detention centers for months or even years. Any deportations to Haiti at this time needlessly place additonal strains on a country struggling to recover from multiple disasters. 

Faith reflection: As people of faith, we are called to welcome the stranger, stand with the vulnerable, and love our neighbor. We have a moral and legal obligation to immigrants seeking safety, work, and a better future for their families. 

Action: Call the office of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson at 202-282-8000 and urge him to immediately stop detaining and start protecting Haitian immigrants in the U.S. See sample script below.

Sample script:

“I’m from [City, State, Congregation/Community,] and as a person of faith, I urge Secretary Johnson to immediately grant Humanitarian Parole to Haitians entering the United States and stop the detention of Haitians already here. I urge the Secretary to also extend Temporary Protected Status and to expand the Haitian Family Reunification Program. The country of Haiti is still rebuilding after the earthquake and dealing with a devastating cholera epidemic and, now, a new humanitarian crisis caused by Hurricane Matthew. We should not burden them further but instead be looking for ways to lighten their load and offer assistance. Thank you.”


Alert prepared by Tammy Alexander, Senior Legislative Associate for Domestic Affairs, October 12, 2016. Adapted from an alert sent by Church World Service.

The MCC U.S. Washington Office High School Essay Contest is accepting entries until Jan. 27, 2017. Encourage Anabaptist youth to participate.

Did you receive this alert from a friend? Sign up for action alerts from the MCC U.S. Washington Office here.