US Congresswoman Yvette Diane Clarke speaks during 33rd Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King at BAM Howard Gilman Opera House – New York, NY – January 21, 2019 (Shutterstock)
Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09) released the following statement on a call she and Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (MS-02) had with Tae Johnson, Acting Director of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
“As members of the House Homeland Security Committee, this call was imperative. Haiti is facing a delicate political landscape that could cause disproportionate harm to wrongfully deported immigrants,” said Clarke. “As the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, I can confidently say, our immigration system is broken. The targeted deportation to Haiti illustrates the violence exacted on immigrant communities — particularly immigrant communities of color. I realize ICE must carry out its mission in line with legal precedents. However, this must be done in a way that is sensitive to humanitarian needs for recent border crossers.”
“As the Biden Administration implements immigration policies that are more in line with our American values and priorities, it is imperative that they assist migrants from Haiti and take into account conditions on the ground in their country,” added Chairman Thompson. “Continuing with deportations to Haiti risks further destabilization, and I encourage the administration to consider all possible options to prevent further harm.”
On January 20, 2021, President Biden issued an executive order directing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to revise its immigration enforcement guidance to “safeguard the dignity and well-being of all families and communities. In response, Acting Secretary David Pekoske imposed an immediate, 100-day moratorium on the vast majority of deportations. However, on January 26, a Texas judge suspended President Biden’s moratorium.
“Let me be very clear, the administration’s moratorium on deportations is not only lawful but necessary to ensure that families are not separated, and people are not subjected to unnecessary danger while the administration reviews the past actions of the xenophobic Trump administration,” said Clarke.
Clarke also joined a coalition of Democrats in penning a letter to the Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, on February 8th, demanding a halt in the mass deportations of Black immigrants. The text of the letter can be found here.