70+ Organizations Call on Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to Suspend Deportations to Haiti

The Honorable Alejandro N. Mayorkas
US Department of Homeland Security 
Washington, D.C., 20528
September 26, 2023

Dear Secretary Mayorkas, 

Since November 2022, when the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) called on all governments to “suspend the forced return of Haitians to their country,” the U.S. government has sent nine deportation flights to Haiti. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) continues to schedule deportation flights to Haiti despite the serious risks to life, liberty, and physical and mental integrity of the people being deported.

As you know, the United States already bars the deportation of Haitians to Haiti who qualify for temporary protected status (TPS) because “Haiti is experiencing extraordinary and temporary conditions resulting from grave insecurity and gang crime, as well as socio-economic and humanitarian conditions, including those resulting from environmental disasters aggravating food insecurity.” As you are also aware, the US embassy on August 30 called on all Americans to leave Haiti “as soon as possible” because of the worsening security situation. 

The following day, August 31, a charter flight landed in Port-au-Prince, reportedly carrying more than 50 persons deported from the United States, despite the known danger and overwhelming evidence of escalating violence and insecurity there.  

Given this evidence, and UNHCR’s warning in its non-return advisory for Haiti that “the forced removal of people to a place where they may face risk of persecution, torture or other serious or irreparable harm would amount to ‘refoulement,’ which is explicitly prohibited under international refugee and human rights law,” these forced returns appear to conflict with the United States’ legal obligations.  

The undersigned organizations call on you to suspend the scheduled September deportation flight to Haiti and all future U.S. deportation flights to Haiti until the United States, in consultation with UNHCR, the International Organization for Migration, and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, is assured that generalized conditions of violence and insecurity in Haiti no longer represent a credible risk of serious harm to anyone forcibly returned to that country. We further call on you to investigate possible harms that people deported from the United States to Haiti since November 2022 may have experienced since their deportation, and to rectify, to the extent possible, those harms, including by facilitating humanitarian parole applications for those having experienced harm.  


African Advocacy Network
African Coalition
African Communities Together (ACT)
Al Otro Lado
Aldea – The People’s Justice Center
Alianza Americas
American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)
Americans for Immigrant Justice
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC
Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP)
Attorney & Counselor at Law
Black Alliance for Just Immigration
Bridges Faith Initiative
Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR) Coalition
Carolina Migrant Network
Center for Democracy in the Americas
Chispa LCV
Church World Service
Communities United for Status & Protection (CUSP)
DRUM – Desis Rising Up & Moving
Families For Freedom
Family Action Network Movement
Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC)
Fondasyon Mapou
Freedom for Immigrants (FFI)
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Haitian Bridge Alliance
Haitian Neighborhood Center,Sant La Inc.
Human Rights First
Human Rights Watch
Immigrant Action Alliance
Immigrant Justice Network
Immigrant Legal Resource Center
Immigration Equality
Immigration Hub
Innovation Law Lab
Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti
Inter-Faith Committee on Latin America (IFCLA)
International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP)
JPIC Committee of RJM USA-Haiti Province
Justice Action Center
La Resistencia
Las Semillas INC
Latin America Working Group
LatinoJustice PRLDEF
League of Conservation Voters
Louisiana Advocates for Immigrants in Detention
Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA)
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition
Mennonite Central Committee U.S.
National Immigrant Justice Center
National Immigration Law Center
National Immigration Project (NIPNLG)
National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Bay Area Chapter
NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
New York Immigration Coalition
Pax Christi New Jersey
Quixote Center
Refugees International
Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights
Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
The Advocates for Human Rights
UndocuBlack Network
Union for Reform Judaism
Washington Office on Latin America
Wind of the Spirit Immigrant Resource Center
Witness At The Border
Women’s Refugee Commission