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House Democrats Discuss Treatment Of Haitian Migrants On Southern Border

Source: Anna Moneymaker / Getty

On Wednesday, House Haiti Caucus Co-Chairs Congresswomen Ayanna Pressley, Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, and Yvette Clarke will host a press conference on Capitol Hill addressing the growing crises in Haiti.

MORE: Explaining The Unrest In Haiti: Gangs Raid Prisons And Try To Seize Control Of Major Airport

In March, groups of heavily armed gangs launched an audacious bid to seize command of the Toussaint Louverture International Airport.

The heinous attack occurred just hours after Haitian authorities implemented a nighttime curfew on March 3 in response to armed gang members successfully storming the nation’s two largest prisons and freeing thousands of inmates.

According to the Associated Press, about 98 inmates from the National Penitentiary escaped while 1,033 were set free from Croix-des-Bouquets prison, including 298 convicts. Many of the escaped inmates were on pre-trial detention for “slayings, kidnappings and other crimes,” the outlet noted.

“The outbreak of violence in Haiti has resulted in loss of livelihoods and food insecurity, widespread and multiple displacement, the collapse of education, breakdown of healthcare and other essential services,” the United Nations said in a statement. 



The UN also said that gangs use sexual violence, sexual exploitation and sexual slavery to instill fear into the community. 

“Internally displaced women and girls who live in inadequate and precarious displacement sites are particularly vulnerable to sexual violence,” the UN said,

Gang violence isn’t the only crisis stifling Haiti. The small island was also recently hit with torrential rains, causing severe flooding and killing at least 17 people. According to reports, some 4,000 homes have been affected by the floods. 

Wednesday’s press conference will address multiple issues plaguing Haiti including, extending and redesignating Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for the Republic of Haiti, halting the repatriations of Haitian nationals to the island as well as releasing detained Haitians and expediting processing for the Haitian Family Reunification Program, the Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans parole program. 

The Haiti Caucus also urged the Biden-Harris administration to reconsider sending Haitian nationals to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and provide support to further strengthen the Haitian National Police 

The presser will begin at 11 am and take place at 720 House Triangle on Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C..

Speakers include Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Rep. Cori Bush, Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, Rep. Frederica Wilson as well as Executive Director of Haitian Bridge Alliance, Guerline Jozef and Executive Director of the UndocuBlack Network, Patrice Lawrence.


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