From the Florida Immigrant Coalition:
* During a one-month period, and in rapid succession, FOUR DEVASTATING STORMS ravaged Haiti
* The World Bank assessed the storm damage at nearly ONE BILLION DOLLARS, or about 15 percent of Haiti’s GDP.
* THIS EQUALS EIGHT TO TEN HURRICANE KATRINAS HITTING THE UNITED STATES IN A MONTH
* The United Nations has called this “the worst disaster to hit Haiti in 100 years”
* Over 800 people were killed, with thousand missing or injured
* Haiti’s third largest city, Gonaives, has been rendered uninhabitable
* Massive flooding caused nationwide damage to agriculture and infrastructure including roads, bridges, water and sanitation systems, schools, hospitals and housing.
* Inadequate sanitation and potable water and standing pools of polluted flood water have left hundreds of thousands at risk of malaria, hepatitis, and cholera
* The nation’s food crop has been largely destroyed, as have farm tools, seeds for next year’s crop, and livestock and irrigation systems vital to farmers and rice production
* Dozens of children have starved to death, and UNICEF has said that 300,000 children are at risk of severe malnutrition
What the US Government should do in response to this humanitarian Crisis:
* Immediately halt all deportations to Haiti
* Grant Deferred Enforced Departure and/or Temporary Protected Status to Haitians in the United States for 18 months; and for those so protected:
* Authorize them to work;
* Release them from detention; and
* Suspend all legal and administrative proceedings against them.
How halting deportations helps Haiti and protects U. S. interests:
* Allows Haiti to prepare and safely receive returnees in the future, reducing the stress on a fragile economy unable to assimilate additional homeless, jobless migrants
* Enables Haitians in the United States to work, pay taxes, and send remittances to relatives in Haiti crucial to their survival
* Protects U.S. borders and resources by sustaining life-sustaining remittances and reducing socio-economic burdens which lead to desperate emigration attempts; reduced outflow preserves U.S. Coast Guard, Border Patrol, detention, and administrative resources.
* Safeguards U.S.-born American children from having their parents ripped away from them; the destruction of these families is fundamentally un-American.
* Restores U.S. commitment to the rule of law and the principle of equal protection by granting Haitians the same deserved protection granted other similarly-situated nationals
* IT IS THE HUMANE THING TO DO
The Obama Administration has failed to overturn the prior Administration’ s 11th hour decision to resume deportations to storm-ravaged Haiti. Deportations to Haiti have continued, as recently as last Friday!!!
Call or fax the Whitehouse and ask President Obama to prioritize this compelling review of the Bush Administration’ s inhumane policy towards Haiti. A 30 second phone call from the White House to DHS could effectively halt deportations, pending a full review of the policy.