Press Release

September 21, 2021
Cardin Statement on Haitian Asylum Seekers

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement in response to thousands of Haitians currently in Texas at the border awaiting processing by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

“Recently we have witnessed tragic scenes at our southern border with Mexico as Haitian asylum seekers flee their country in desperation. After the assassination of President Moise in July, Haiti’s government and economy are rife with uncertainty and corruption. Coupled with the deadly August earthquake and Tropical Storm Grace, everyday life for many of its citizens remains a constant struggle. It is unsurprising that so many Haitians are looking to find a better, more stable life for their family.

“I urge the Biden administration to use its full range of authorities to ensure that Haitian refugees arriving at our borders are treated with dignity and respect. They must avoid sending refugees back to Haiti, which will only exacerbate the underlying problems in the country.  Refugees should be allowed to present their claims for asylum through a safe and orderly process at the border.

“Excessive force by law enforcement and border agents cannot be tolerated. The United States must return to being a beacon of compassion and humanitarian action. Those who violate the public trust and fail to exhibit the highest standards of professionalism should be held accountable.”