Clockwise from top left: Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte, Council Member Farah Louis, Democratic City Council nominee Rita Joseph, Assemblymember Kimberly Jean-Pierre, Assemblymember Michaelle Solages, Democratic City Council nominee Chi Ossé
A group of New York-based Haitian-American elected officials and community organizations are asking President Joe Biden to make it easier for Haitians to obtain political asylum in the US.
In a letter sent Monday, the group, led by Brooklyn Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte, called on Biden to lift the refugee admission cap, temporarily halt the deportation of Haitian migrants, and supply Haiti with additional food assistance and COVID-19 vaccines.
The ask comes in the aftermath of the assassination of Haitian president Jovenel Moise, who was shot to death in his home by masked assailants on July 7th.
"There is a crisis in Haiti that demands our immediate attention as Americans, and begs the continued action of your leadership," reads the letter, which was signed by Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte, Council Member Farah Louis and two Democratic city council nominees Rita Joseph and Chi Ossé who are all of Haitian descent and represent districts with large Haitian diaspora.
Long Island Assemblymembers Michaelle Solages and Kimberly Jean-Pierre also signed on, as did ten community organizations serving descendants of the struggling Caribbean country. New York is home to the second largest population of people with Haitian ancestry in the US, after Florida.