Vera Institute on the Biden Administration's Mass Deportations of Haitian Families

Over the weekend, the Biden administration announced two decisions that will result in the mass deportation of thousands of families seeking asylum to the United States.

On Saturday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security outlined a plan to begin deporting thousands of families currently living in Del Rio, Texas. Most are from Haiti seeking asylum in the United States following the instability of a political assassination and devastating earthquake. This mass expulsion effort comes one day after the Biden administration announced it would appeal a federal court decision that ordered the administration to cease expelling families under Title 42 of the U.S. Code. The court found the policy to be in violation of U.S. law. The Biden administration insists the policy is still necessary to fight COVID-19, despite a lack of evidence and opposition from public health experts.

Kica Matos, vice president of strategic initiatives, issued the following statement:

“Far from undoing his predecessor’s assault on asylum, we are witnessing the beginnings of a Biden doctrine of mass deportation. At every level of interaction, the President is either keeping in place Trump-era policies or accelerating other ones to ensure families with children cannot exercise their right to asylum. Even assuming the President does not prevail on Title 42, the return of expedited removal for families, and the singling-out of asylum cases to rush through court will ensure thousands of mostly Black and brown families are deported from the country anyway. Already, over 6,000 families are on a fast track to deportation thanks to a revival of the twice-failed family ‘rocket dockets’. And with thousands more people from Haiti being rounded up in Del Rio to be sent back into harm’s way, the President is doubling down on the racism and cruelty of his predecessor. This is not the humane immigration system we were promised. The President must reverse course immediately.”