Statement from George Gresham, president of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, on treatment and deportations of Haitians seeking asylum in the United States:

October 25, 2021

Contact: Stuart Marques, | 917-273-6194

New York, NY. Oct. 25, 2021 -- The members of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the largest union of healthcare workers in the nation, strongly demand humane and fair treatment of Haitians seeking asylum into the United States. These asylum seekers have left a nation that has been ravaged by an unprecedented wave of crises including political instability and violence; deadly natural disasters; profound poverty; and more.

The 450,000 members of 1199SEIU, a large percentage of whom are Haitian or Haitian-American, call on the Biden administration to lead with justice and compassion. Our caregivers have served with brave dedication during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we owe them nothing less than to commit to ending this humanitarian emergency.

We deeply condemn inhumane treatment of Haitian families on the U.S. southern border and demand an immediate block on mass deportations that would send thousands back to critical peril. The conditions that deported Haitians face are often even more dangerous than for asylum seekers from other countries, who have been welcomed here more freely.

United States immigration laws have long been profoundly tainted with racism, and this reflects the heart-breaking treatment that Haitians are acutely suffering today. This must end now. The members and staff of 1199SEIU are committed to working with government at all levels and any organization dedicated to fairness and justice for Haitians and all.

Tout moun se moun!


1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is the largest union of healthcare workers in the nation, representing more than 450,000 members working in hospitals, nursing homes, private homes, clinics and other facilities.