Haitian Community Group Defends Humanitarian Relief

Immigrant Rights

Haitian Community Group Defends President Biden’s Humanitarian Immigration Policy

Parole Program Offers Hope for Foreign Nationals Fleeing Deadly Conditions

Haitian-Americans United, Inc. (HAU) filed a friend-of-the-court (amicus) brief in federal court in support of the Biden Administration’s “parole program,” a humanitarian relief effort that allows Haitians fleeing dangerous social, political, and economic conditions to seek refuge in the United States. The program, which is also open to individuals and families from Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, has been challenged in a federal lawsuit brought by Texas and several other states. Boston-based HAU is represented by Lawyers for Civil Rights (LCR)

The amicus brief argues that shutting the parole program down would not only jeopardize the safety of thousands of individuals and families fleeing violence and unrest in their home countries, but would also harm the American economy.  

Massachusetts is home to more than 80,000 Haitians and Haitian-Americans, with scores of new Haitian immigrants arriving every day. “HAU works tirelessly to support the Haitian community in Boston and beyond, including providing essential services and community support to those who newly arrive in the U.S. after fleeing life-or-death conditions. We know first-hand the positive impact these new immigrants have on the local community after they arrive,” said Reverend Dieufort Fleurissaint, Chair of HAU.

Immigrants allowed into the U.S. through the parole program are eligible for work authorization invigorating the labor force and providing a significant benefit to the American economy. “Immigrants help to fill a significant gap in the workforce, often working in crucial industries like health care, where they served as essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, and they continue to risk their own health and well-being to provide for others – without immigrants, we all suffer,” said Michael Kippins, Litigation Fellow at LCR.

The continuation of this humanitarian parole program will save lives, boost the economy, and provide an opportunity for immigrants to enter the U.S. in an orderly fashion to be reunited with their families – a net positive impact to the country. In 2017 in Boston alone, the Haitian community earned more than $500 million in income, had a consumer demand that supported more than 1500 jobs, and contributed more than $250 million to Boston’s gross city product, more than $25 million in state income taxes, and more than $8 million in state sales taxes. These benefits to the economy cannot be overstated.

The case is Texas, et al. v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, et al., Case No. 6:23-cv-00007, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

The amicus brief can be accessed here.