haitians newark
Haitian community leaders and supporters gather outside the Peter Rodino Federal Building to demand the Biden administration stop deportations, end Title 42 and restore the right to asylum, on Oct. 22. (Tariq Zehawi/NorthJersey.com)

On a sunny day in late October, pastor Jean Maurice stood outside the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office in Newark, along with other organizers, demanding a fair asylum process and an end to deportations. Amid rising violence in Haiti and a recent migration crisis, Maurice said he felt a need to speak up for his fellow Haitians who do not have a voice. 

“The Biden administration has not been cooperative enough to work in partnership with the diaspora,” said Maurice, pastor at Temple of United Christians Brick Church in East Orange, New Jersey. “The administration needs to direct Homeland Security to work in partnership with [resettlement] organizations and the churches so we can resettle these people in a fair way.” 

As president of the NJ Haitian Pastors Association, Maurice worked with immigrant rights groups and other activists to organize the Oct. 22 protest. It is only the start of that coalition’s advocacy efforts, the northern New Jersey man said. 

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Sam is a reporter for The Haitian Times and a 2020 Report for America corps member. He has covered Haiti and its diaspora since 2018. His work has also appeared in USA Today, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Haiti Liberte. Sam can be reached at sam@haitiantimes.com or on Twitter @sambojarski.