Congresswoman Val Demings Co-Leads Haiti Letter to Biden’s Administration

Orlando, FL: Today, Rep. Val Demings (FL-10) and House Haiti and Caribbean Caucus leaders sent a letter to President Biden, the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on their priorities for U.S. Haiti policy.

Wrote the Members, “our efforts are guided by our deep commitment to the well-being of the Haitian people and the Haitian diaspora and supporting the Haitian-led transition being developed by civil society presently.”

The Members’ letter enumerated the following priorities:

  1. The United States should support Haitian-led solutions for Haiti’s future, and encourage the full participation of the broadest possible scope of Haitian civil society.
  2. We urge you to include members of both the House Caribbean and Haiti Caucuses in the Administration’s identification and engagement with Haitian civil society.
  3. We oppose:
    • Military intervention;
    • Efforts to change the Haitian constitutional order that lack a basis in law, tradition, or democratic consensus, such as a referendum on the constitution, which is a violation of the current constitution;
    • Any suspension of the Haitian people’s civil and constitutional rights;
    • Rushed elections without the necessary infrastructure and conditions to ensure a safe and open campaign process that can lead to free and fair elections and that can also ensure that the elections actually are free and fair.
  1. We support U.S. assistance to protect Haitian public infrastructure, increase vaccine allotment, and improve humanitarian aid.
  2. We also request full transparency in the Administration’s efforts to:
    • Address the root causes of regional political instability;
    • Provide funding to combat the rising prevalence of gang violence;
    • Increase support at borders and ports and cooperation with key regional partners — such as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Dominican Republic — to combat illicit trafficking of persons, arms, and narcotics;
    • Investigate late-President Moise’s assassination;
    • Combat Haitian oligarchic and anti-democratic control.
  1. We also request that Special Envoy to Haiti Ambassador Daniel Foote regularly collaborate with our caucuses on his decision-making process and arrange periodic updates from the State Department.
  2. We also request the Administration reinstate the Haitian Family Reunification Program and extend the TPS designation deadline for Haitian nationals in the U.S. after the May 21, 2021 deadline.

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