Joe Biden has announced commitments to Haiti, which includes creating a program that would help Haitians gain citizenship in the United States.
Just ahead of Biden’s visit to South Florida, which will also include a visit to Little Haiti in Miami-Dade County, the former Vice President released a commitment to Haitian-Americans. He said the commitment is rooted in a fundamental belief in the unlimited potential of our community.”
“A Biden-Harris administration will review the Trump administration’s decision to terminate TPS for Haitians, reinstate the DACA program, and propose a path to citizenship for the thousands of Haitians who have long called the United States home. When Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are elected in November, we will finally see leadership that treats Haitians with the dignity and the resources they deserve to have a fair shot — both in their home country and here in the United States,” said Biden for President Florida Senior Advisor Karen Andre.
Haiti has a longstanding relationship with the U.S. Back in 1779, 800 troops from Saint-Domingue, which would later be called Haiti, fought in the battle of Savannah, Georgia, one of the toughest and bloodiest battles of the American Revolutionary War. A press release stated that Biden sees the Haitian Americans as a community that has “strengthened our country.”
“President Trump has abandoned and insulted our long-time friend and partner, Haiti. He has pursued policies that undermine U.S. interests and hurt and disrespect millions of Haitian Americans in the United States,” Biden said in his statement. “Specifically, President Trump denigrated the country and people of Haiti by referring to it as a ‘s-hole country,’ tried to rescind Temporary Protected Status for Haitians who fled the country after its devastating 2010 earthquake, threatened to rip families apart and force approximately 30,000 American-born children to leave the only country they’ve ever known,” the statement read, adding that he “Ended the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program, which allowed Haitians to join their family in the United States while awaiting their immigrant visas; recklessly continued deportations of Haitians during the COVID-19 pandemic, potentially aiding the spread of the virus and endangering the health of the Haitian people, and proposed to limit student visas for Haitians to two years.”
In the press release, Biden’s team explained what it plans to do to support and protect Haitian-Americans. “Joe Biden understands the issues and has a better way. As President, he will halt deportations for undocumented immigrants who have been living and working in the United States during his first 100 days in office; immediately review the Trump administration’s decision to terminate Temporary Protected Status for Haitians; reinstate the Haitian Family Reunification Parole program; offer a path to citizenship to long-time TPS holders who have been in the country for an extended period of time through legislative immigration reform and protect Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) holders from being returned to countries that are unsafe,” the statement read.
He also plans to “reinstate the DACA program; ensure Dreamers are eligible for federal student aid and access to community college without debt; reverse the regulation that limits student visas for Haitians to two years; engage the international community and work with the Haitian government to hold elections as soon as possible so that the democratic will of the Haitian people can be heard,” the statement continued, adding that the administration hopes to “Implement effective oversight of how U.S. government funds to Haiti are spent, working in partnership with civil society and the Haitian American community, to ensure that money goes directly to assisting the Haitian people.”
Finally, Biden said he wants to “Ensure that Haiti and the Haitian people are treated with the respect and dignity that they deserve.”