Rights without Borders: Haitian Immigrant Rights

The Global Justice Clinic works to advance the rights of Haitians outside of Haiti–Haitian immigrants. Impacted by anti-Black racism, xenophobia, and language barriers, Haitian immigrants are marginalized in destination countries throughout the Western Hemisphere. GJC partners with Haitian-led immigrant rights’ organizations in the U.S., Haiti and elsewhere, supporting Haitians to expose injustices and combat marginalization.

In January 2022, GJC launched Rights without Borders: Haitian Migration, Hemispheric Anti-Blackness, & Legal Empowerment Across the Americas, a collaborative project with NYU’s Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics. Rights without Borders aims to use legal empowerment as a tool to fight the racism and anti-migrant policies that Haitian diaspora communities are confronting across the Americas. Building a hemisphere-wide coalition of Haitian leaders and advocates, Rights without Borders will facilitate the sharing of strategies, creation of know your rights resources, and coordination of advocacy across borders.

In partnership with Ralph Thomassaint, the Hemispheric Institute’s inaugural Mellon Journalist-in-Residence and former Editorial Director of AyiboPost, GJC is creating a series of videos highlighting the work of Haitian activists and Haitian-led organizations who are advocating for Haitian migrants in various countries throughout the hemisphere.

Rights without Borders builds on GJC’s past work advancing Haitians’ rights in the United States. In 2021, GJC partnered with the Haitian Bridge Alliance, the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, and Fried Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, to file FOIA requests seeking records concerning the rapid, summary expulsions and deportations of Haitians seeking refuge in the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic. In October 2020, GJC partnered with NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund to hold a two-day virtual convening with over 400 participants entitled “Immigration, Racial Justice and Equal Protection: The Legacy of Jean v. Nelson.” A companion podcast explored the intersection of immigration and racial justice, centering the challenges that Haitian–and more broadly, black immigrants–face as the targets of anti-black racism in the United States.

In 2017, GJC published a report arguing for an extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti. Since then, GJC staff have contributed to the legal efforts to preserve TPS for Haiti, participated in the successful advocacy effort to win redesignation of Haiti for TPS, and trained dozens of attorneys to better serve members of the Haitian community as they seek protection through TPS.

Ellie Happel
Adjunct Professor, Global Justice Clinic
Co-Director, Haiti Justice and International Accountability
Co-Director, Caribbean Climate Justice Initiative
Gabrielle Apollon
Co-Director, Haiti Justice & International Accountability Project
Supervising Attorney, Torture, Rendition, and Disappearances Project
In the News
Event Recordings
Related News
December 16, 2021
GJC Among Organizations Demanding Halt to Deportations of Haitian Migrants Amidst Worsening Crisis in Haiti
View Post
September 21, 2021
GJC Issues Statement Calling for End to Mass Deportations to Haiti
View Post
August 27, 2018
Ellie Happel in Miami Herald: Ending TPS for Haitians Was Unlawful and Racist
View Post
Related Pages
Jean vs Nelson
Legal Empowerment and Immigration
Temporary Protected Status

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