NEWARK, NJ — Haitian community leaders, immigrant community members and supporters are planning to protest outside the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) field office in Newark on Friday, Oct. 22.
According to a statement from organizers, the rally is being held to demand that the administration of President Joe Biden immediately “stop deportations, end Title 42 and restore the right to asylum.”
The protest will take place at noon in front of the federal building at 970 Broad Street. Immigrant speakers plan to share stories, prayer and song in Haitian Creole and English.
Organizers include League of Haitian American Diaspora Alliance Network, National Haitian American Elected Official Network, New Jersey Haitian Pastors Association – Pastor Jean Maurice, Haiti Solidarity Network of the Northeast – Father Gene, VOILA, American Friends Service Committee – Immigrant Rights Program (AFSC-IRP), Faith in New Jersey, Wind of The Spirit – Immigrant Resource Center, and New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice.
In recent days, images of border patrol agents on horses pushing back trying to reach U.S. soil by crossing the Rio Grande have prompted outrage across the nation. Some top-ranking Democrats have questioned President Biden’s decision to swiftly deport thousands who had been arriving en masse at the Texas border.
Wayne Richardson, president of the Essex County Commissioner Board, is among those who have spoken in support of the Haitian refugees.
“I saw people who look like me being treated like cattle, like slaves,” Richardson said last month after seeing news footage of the crisis.
“It is imperative that the United States government’s violent treatment and inhumane policies toward Haitian refugees stop now,” he added.
Sen. Cory Booker, a Newark resident, has also spoken in support of Haitian refugees.
“I unequivocally condemn the unconscionable violence and inhumane treatment Haitian migrants have experienced while seeking entry into the United States,” Booker said after meeting with leaders of the New Jersey Haitian community earlier in October.
“As the political situation in Haiti deteriorates and the country endures the aftermath of another devastating earthquake, our nation must stop the cruel deportations of Haitians and live up to its highest ideals as a beacon of hope to people cast out of their native lands by violence, terror, persecution, oppression, and humanitarian disaster,” Booker said.
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