May 29, 2020
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM (GMT-5)
Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson
On May 5, the Pan American Health Organization warned of an “impending humanitarian crisis” in Haiti due to the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 is now present in every region of the island nation, which has only 124 ICU beds and the capacity to ventilate 62 patients.
Despite these circumstances, ICE has continued to deport detainees to Haiti throughout April and May. In response, Congresswoman Wilson led a letter urging the Department of Homeland Security to halt this practice and introduced H.R. 6798, 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 forum included:
- House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel
- Leonie Hermantin, Haitian community leader and director of Development, Communications, and Strategic Planning for the Sant La Haitian Neighborhood Center
- Clarel Cyriaque, a practicing attorney who represents immigrants facing deportation
- Dan Erikson, senior fellow at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement and former special advisor to Vice President Joe Biden
- Cate Oswald, chief policy and partnership officer for Partners in Health
- Jake Johnston, senior research associate at the Center for Economic and Policy Research.