Rep. Mondaire Jones Calling on Biden Administration to Return Unjustly Deported Immigrants
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Congressman Mondaire Jones (D-NY) led 30 members of the Congressional Black Caucus in calling on the Biden Administration to return individuals unjustly deported from the United States. In their letter to President Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, the lawmakers point out that the vast majority of unjust deportations have targeted Black and brown immigrants, and call on the Administration to establish a centralized process to evaluate and authorize returns going forward.
“For decades, the U.S. immigration system has deported hundreds of thousands of individuals, permanently separating them from their loved ones and communities,” write the lawmakers. “In some cases, people were deported despite having strong legal grounds for being permitted to remain. In other cases, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) abused its considerable discretion to decide whether, and when, to order deportations. All unjust deportations separate families, destabilize communities, and undermine public safety and public health.”
The lawmakers go on to highlight the stories of several individuals who have been unjustly deported, including Paul Pierrilus, a constituent of Rep. Jones who was unjustly deported to Haiti earlier this year despite not being a Haitian citizen and never having been to Haiti previously. Jones was initially able to halt Pierrilus’s deportation, only for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to deport him weeks later.
“For children growing up without their parents, single mothers and fathers struggling to cope with the loss of their life partners, and communities robbed of beloved members, each day that passes without justice is a day too many,” the lawmakers conclude. “Building trust between the U.S. government and Black and brown communities devastated by decades of unjust deportations must begin with providing a meaningful opportunity for families and communities to be made whole again. We cannot wait to welcome everyone unjustly deported from our communities back home.”
“Establishing a centralized process to review unjust deportations and give people a meaningful chance to come home is a necessary step toward redressing the racial injustices of the U.S. immigration system under previous administrations,” Nayna Gupta, associate director of policy, National Immigrant Justice Center. “The National Immigrant Justice Center is grateful for the leadership of Congressman Jones and members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they stand in solidarity with immigrant communities seeking to reunite with their unjustly deported loved ones.”