Diaspora

Rep. Demings Introduces Haiti Criminal Collusion Transparency Act – Val Demings

Orlando – Today, Rep. Val Demings (FL-10) introduced the Haiti Criminal Collusion Transparency Act of 2022. Representatives Yvette Clarke (NY-09) and Andy Levin (MI-09), who are Co-Chairs of the Haiti Caucus, and Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, are also co-sponsoring the legislation that calls for a new federal investigation into those individuals and organizations supporting Haitian criminal gangs. 
Said Rep. Demings, “Governments must protect their citizens. I’m fighting for a Haiti free from fear and gang violence, where the Haitian people have the safety and freedom to build their own future. This new legislation will help us identify bad actors behind Haiti’s lawlessness and hold them accountable. After the brazen assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, killings and kidnappings have soared, with the backing of Haitian political and economic elites. The United States must take concrete steps to hold these criminals accountable and help the Haitian people achieve stability, freedom, human rights, and democracy.”
Background
The Haiti Criminal Collusion Transparency Act of 2022 would require the U.S. Department of State to investigate the nature of the relationship between criminal gangs and political and economic elites in Haiti, and to submit an annual report to Congress on that topic. This legislation follows successful models used to investigate corruption in Russia and other nations and to lay the groundwork for U.S. sanctions and cooperative international crackdowns.
The Miami Herald reports that, “As kidnappings spike and gangs extend and tighten their grip on metropolitan Port-au-Prince — after seizing the main courthouse in downtown last month, gangs now have their sights on the ports — Haitians are increasingly feeling helpless.”
Rep. Demings co-chairs the House Haiti Caucus, which she helped to form in 2021. Over the past year, the Caucus has closely monitored efforts to restore democracy in Haiti, worked to ensure the safety of kidnapped missionaries, and led efforts to send COVID-19 vaccines to Haiti. Rep. Demings helped lead calls for stability, security and democracy following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, including a transparent, independent investigation into that act. Since the assassination, she has pushed the Biden-Harris administration to withdraw support for de facto ruler Ariel Henry.
Rep. Demings successfully called for redesignation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and a renewal of the lapsed Haitian Family Reunification Parole (HFRP) program, and called for an immediate halt to deportations of Haitian asylum seekers which have contributed to a worsening crisis.
Rep. Demings has also held events to elevate the voices of the Haitian community.
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