Church World Service on Protecting Black Immigrants and Asylum Seekers From Deportation, Expulsion, Family Separation

March 12, 2021

Washington, D.C.—Church World Service today calls on the Biden Administration and Congress to take immediate action to protect Black immigrants and asylum seekers from deportation, expulsion, and family separation. The call comes as more than 18 flights have departed since February 1st, expelling over one thousand Haitians, including at least 270 children, as well as other immigrants from Cameroon and Mauritania. All now face risk in their home countries due to violence and political instability. 

“The targeting and prioritization of Black immigrants for deportation is immoral and wrong,” said Meredith Owen, Director of Policy and Advocacy at Church World Service. “Each day that our Black immigrant and asylum seeking neighbors are expelled and forced to return to harm is a day that we fail. Fulfilling a promise for a just and compassionate immigration policy requires not only an end to the ongoing deportations of Black immigrants and Title 42 expulsions, but also an opportunity for protection and safety in the United States. We urge the administration to re-designate Temporary Protected Status for Haiti and designate TPS for Cameroon and Mauritania.”

Today, the House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing on policy recommendations on Haiti for the Biden administration. Earlier this week, nearly 100 faith-based organizations and over 700 faith leaders urged the Biden administration to halt deportation flights and stop expelling Haitians and other migrants seeking asylum in the United States. 

Guerline Jozef, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Haitian Bridge Alliance, powerfully shared testimony at today’s hearing, “We as the U.S. turn our backs once again to the Haitian community. The immigration-prison system we see today was a direct response to the Haitian refugees arriving at our shores…enough is enough.”

Haitian Bishop Philius H. Nicolas, of the Evangelical Crusade of Fishers of Men, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Brooklyn, NY also released the following remarks:

“As a Haitian Pastor ministering in the community for over fifty years, I am shocked by the tragedy our nation is producing for Haitians seeking protections…By sending at least 17 deportations flights to Haiti since the beginning of February 2021, the U.S. has made the immoral choice to reject instead of protect over 1,000 Haitians–including more than 270 children–seeking asylum and security. 

Detaining and deporting asylum seekers doesn’t just turn our back on immigrants. It shamefully turns our back on God, who calls us to welcome our neighbors. Instead, we must halt the returns of Haitians and many other Black nationality migrants, which are sending them to face danger and which has cost the lives of many. I call on the Administration to re-designate TPS for Haitians, and also to protect Cameroonians and Mauritanians through TPS.”

For more information or to speak with Owen, contact Church World Service at