February 18, 2022

Warren, Booker, Bush, 99 Congressional Colleagues Urge President Biden to Reverse Inhumane Immigration Policies that Disproportionately Impact Black Migrants

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Representative Cori Bush (D-Mo.), and 99 of their Congressional colleagues urged President Biden to reverse inhumane immigration policies which often disproportionately harm Black migrants, such as Title 42, originally introduced by the Trump administration. The letter comes in the aftermath of disturbing images from September 2021, where Border Patrol agents were seen on horseback aggressively encountering Haitian migrants near the United States border. The lawmakers called on President Biden to reverse immigration policies that circumvent the United States’ humanitarian obligations and address the systemic issues that Black migrants face in the immigration system.

“We urge you to break this cycle and respond to the recent rise in migration with a human-rights centered approach and compassionate policies that reaffirm our commitment to inclusivity” the lawmakers wrote. “For Haitians in particular, we must also be accountable for our political decisions and the decades of intervention by the United States, including a military occupation from 1915 to 1934, that has contributed to the political destabilization, impoverishment, and ecological vulnerability of Haiti — forces that compel Haitians to seek safety and refuge outside of their country.”

The lawmakers called out a systemic issue – that Black migrants continue to face disparate and often inhumane treatment in the U.S. immigration system. They highlighted how immigration removal proceedings and solitary confinement rates for Black migrants are disproportionately high and deeply concerning.

The lawmakers also called on President Biden to honor the United States’ humanitarian obligations and rescind draconian immigration policies including Title 42, stop the removal of migrants to regions such as Haiti that are facing grave instability, and review the disparate treatment that Black migrants encounter at all steps of the immigration process. 

Senator Warren has led ongoing efforts to protect the rights of migrants and asylum seekers and hold the United States accountable to its humanitarian obligations. 

  • In November 2021, Senator Warren stated her opposition to the continued use of the Title 42 program and called for the Biden administration to rescind this policy.
  • In November 2021, Senator Warren and the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation sent a letter to the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) calling on them to coordinate with the government agencies of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to assist newly arrived families from Haiti.
  • In October 2021, Senator Warren joined Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) in criticizing the inhumane treatment of Haitian migrants and called on the administration to support long-term stability in Haiti.  
  • In October 2021, during his confirmation hearing to be Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, Senator Warren called for Commissioner Chris Magnus to commit to transparency regarding the investigation into the events in Del Rio, Texas. 
  • In May 2021, Senator Warren supported the Biden administration’s announcement that it is designating Haitians in the United States for Temporary Protective Status (TPS) for 18 months. 
  • In March 2021, Senator Warren joined Senator Mazie Hirono’s (D-Hawaii) amicus brief before the U.S. Supreme Court in Sanchez v. Mayorkas, regarding TPS holders being denied green cards.
  • In September 2020, Senator Warren called out the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision to end TPS for over 300,000 immigrants. 
  • In April 2020, Senator Warren joined Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and 36 colleagues urging the Trump administration to automatically extend work authorizations for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and TPS recipients and other impacted immigrants.
  • In May 2018, Senator Warren joined Senator Markey in a letter to the Trump administration questioning the termination of TPS for Haitians. 
  • In November 2017, Senator Warren released a statement calling out the Trump administration's announcement that it planned to end TPS for Haitians in 2019.