Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Call The White House Today to Urge Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians Now!

April 29, 2009statue of libertyHalf-Hour for Haiti:  Call The White House Today to Urge Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians Now!Update: Good news first. Earlier this month, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced an aid package that includes paying Haiti’s World Bank debt service through the first half of this year. See the Jubilee USA Press Release for details. That covers Haiti’s remaining debt service on its multilateral loans, if Haiti reaches completion point for debt relief as scheduled. That may change this summer, and we will respond then, but for now pat yourself on the back if you have called, emailed or faxed to make this victory possible.

Sort of good news: immigration lawyers have reported that non-criminal deportations of Haitians have stopped. During a visit to Haiti on April 16, Secretary of State Clinton acknowledged the burden that deportation would place on Haitians, and promised to study the possibility of TPS.

Bad news: Haiti’s elections. We have not had the time to write on these yet, but will have a section on www.HaitiJustice.org with the best articles and analyses by the end of the day.

Upcoming Events: Mario Joseph of the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux and Brian Concannon of IJDH are speaking twice in New York next week, Wednesday May 6 in Brooklyn and Thursday May 7 in Manhattan. We also have a fundraiser in Roseland New Jersey on Monday May 4.

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Past Events: Mario Joseph gave a great speech (in English) at the Center for Justice & Accountability’s 10th Annual Event on March 17. The text is available here. IJDH joined Partners in Health, the RFK Memorial Human Rights Center and NYU Law School’s Center for Human Rights and Global Justice in Washington for a standing-room-only Congressional Staff briefing titled A Human Rights Approach to Development Assistance on April 15. The Briefing Paper is here. IJDH Board Member Dr. Paul Farmer and Brian Concannon wrote Time to Deal With Haiti for Foreign Policy in Focus’ special section on the Summit of the Americas.

This Week’s Alert: is contributed by Steve Forester of Miami, who has joined IJDH to run our “Stop Deportations Now” campaign. Steve has been working tirelessly (along with many other committed activists) to keep TPS on the radar screen of the U.S. press, the Obama Administration, and Congress. Please help him out by calling this week.

White House Comments: 202-456-1111
FAX: 202-456-2461

We know that TPS is on the White House’s radar screen, and now is the time to make our voices heard, so please call TODAY TO URGE THE PRESIDENT TO “GRANT HAITIANS TEMPORARY PROTECTED STATUS (TPS)!”

Early last Fall Haiti was devastated by four catastrophic hurricanes/tropical storms hitting within a month, killing hundreds, leaving thousands homeless and hungry, inundating towns and cities, destroying 15% of Haiti s GDP, causing over $1 billion in damages.

When such disasters make deportations unsafe, TPS is appropriate; others have received it, Haitians never.  Now is the time.

South Florida leaders of both parties support TPS, as do the editorial boards of the Miami Herald, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Tampa Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, Washington Post, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, and San Francisco Chronicle; the Congressional Black Caucus and many others (click here for fact sheet on deportations).

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said recently that the Administration is actively considering TPS to keep the remittances flowing which are so important to Haiti’s citizens and recovery.

Thousands of Haitian immigrants have final orders of deportation and no work permits, making it difficult to support families here or relatives in Haiti.

Please call the White House at 202 456 1111 to respectfully ask President Obama to “Grant Haitians Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Now!”

And be on the lookout for information about a May 13 rally in Washington, D.C. activists are organizing to push for TPS!

For more information, e-mail Steven Forester at steveforester@aol.com.

Thank you!  Call today  

For more information about the Half-Hour For Haiti program, the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) or human rights in Haiti, see our website, www.HaitiJustice.org. To receive Half-Hour for Haiti Action Alerts (about 2 per month), send an email to HalfHour4Haiti@ijdh.org.

Contact IJDH

Institute for Justice & Democracy In Haiti
15 Newbury St
Boston, MA

Telephone: (617) 652-0876
General Inquiries: info@ijdh.org
Media Inquiries: media@ijdh.org