Congresswoman Wilson to Host Forum on COVID-19 in Haiti and the Dangers of Continued U.S. Deportations

Congresswoman Wilson to Host Forum on COVID-19 in Haiti and the Dangers of Continued U.S. Deportations

Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson

MIAMI – On Friday, May 29, Congresswoman Wilson will host a forum titled “An Impending Crisis: COVID-19 in Haiti, Ongoing Instability, and the Dangers of Continued U.S. Deportations.”

The forum will include 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; and Jake Johnston, senior research associate at the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern; Reps. Barbara Lee, Gregory Meeks, Jan Schakowsky, Andy Levin, and Ayana Pressley; and Tessa Petit, Haitian liaison for the Florida Immigrant Coalition, have been invited to participate.

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.

“Deporting people to Haiti amid a global pandemic is both inhumane and unsafe. Continuing these flights will likely contribute to the spread of the novel coronavirus in an impoverished nation where many people do not have access to basic health care,” said Congresswoman Wilson.

The Zoom forum will be take place from 2:00-3:30 p.m., EST. Press will have the opportunity to ask questions during the final half hour of the event. Call-in information will be shared shortly.

Please RSVP here.

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