Congresswoman Frederica Wilson

Representing the 24th District of Florida

Wilson to Introduce Bill to Suspend Deportations to Haiti During Pandemic

Apr 20, 2020
Press Release

Miami, FL –Congresswoman Wilson will soon introduce the Haitian Deportation Relief Act, which calls for the suspension of deportations of Haitian nationals until the COVID-19 pandemic has ended in both the United States and Haiti. The legislation also calls for a report to Congress on Haiti’s health infrastructure; COVID-19 prevention and treatment efforts; the political and economic conditions on the island nation; the psychosocial, health, and economic impact of removal on Haitian nationals and their families; alternatives to removal and other issues.

“Deporting people to Haiti in the midst of a global pandemic is both inhumane and unsafe. Since the deportation flight two weeks ago, the number of confirmed cases has nearly doubled. Continuing these flights will likely contribute to the spread of the novel coronavirus in the impoverished nation where many people do not have access to basic health care,” said Congresswoman Wilson. “Deportees, who could be asymptomatic, are not even being tested after being rounded up and placed in detention centers or shipped out, which is the height of irresponsibility. It also tantamount to a death sentence for poor Haitians who are living with compromised water and sanitation systems and do not have access to the sanitation measures we’ve undertaken in the United States.”

The Florida lawmaker recently led a letter signed by 18 other members of Congress, urging acting DHS Secretary Chad F. Wolf to halt the deportations and has sought support from her colleagues for another letter calling on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to include a provision halting Haiti deportations in the next legislative package addressing the novel coronavirus.

The letter to House leadership was signed by Representatives Frederica S. Wilson (Fl-24), Kathy Castor (FL-14), Judy Chu (CA-27),  Yvette D. Clarke (NY-9), Rosa L. DeLauro (CT-3), Val B. Demings (FL-10), Ted Deutch (FL-22), Eliot L. Engel (NY-16), Lois Frankel (FL-21), Alcee L. Hastings (FL-20), Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (GA-4), Joseph P. Kennedy, III (MA-4), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Andy Levin (MI-9), James P. McGovern (MA-2), Gregory W. Meeks (NY-5), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10),  Ayanna Pressley (MA-7), Jan Schakowsky (IL-9), Donna E. Shalala (FL-27), Albio Sires (NJ-8), Darren Soto (FL-9), Bennie G. Thompson (MS-2), Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-7), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23), and Maxine Waters (CA-43).