Last month, Secretary Jeh Johnson announced that the US Department of Homeland Security would resume non-criminal deportations to Haiti. After Hurricane Matthew, Haiti is devastated and at increased risk of cholera outbreaks, as it is a waterborne disease. Now is not a time for deportations, but increasing Temporary Protected Status for Haitians, as was done in after the 2010 earthquake. Church World Service’s action alert below demands just that.
October 12, 2016
Last weekend, Hurricane Matthew decimated Haiti, a country that was already struggling to recover from the devastating 2010 earthquake. In the wake of the earthquake, the U.S. government promised to help displaced Haitians and support the country’s recovery. The U.S. government designated Haitians who were already in the United States in 2011 for Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
Still, 65,000 Haitians have been displaced in their own country, while thousands more have sought refuge in Central and South America, as well as the United States. Though the full impact of Hurricane Matthew is not yet known, 350,000 Haitian men, women, and children are in need of assistance, and the cholera outbreak in Haiti – already the worst epidemic that the world has seen – is worsening.
Despite the U.S. commitment to protect Haitians, Secretary Jeh Johnson announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would fast-track the detention and deportation of Haitians in the United States. Although DHS is temporarily halting deportations in Hurricane Matthew’s immediate aftermath, resuming a deportation policy flies in the face of our American values to welcome and protect those seeking safety. While individuals who have TPS will continue to be protected, there is a clear need to expand TPS to Haitians who arrived in the United States between 2011 and today, and to ensure that Haitians are not detained and deported. A detention and deportation policy means turning our backs on the Haitians we pledged to welcome, separating families, and disregarding the significant damage to Haitian communities caused by multiple horrendous disasters.
Make your voice heard and tell Secretary Johnson to immediately stop detaining and start protecting Haitians, including by re-designating TPS for Haitians.
As people of faith, we are called to welcome the stranger, stand with the vulnerable, and love our neighbor. Right now, we have a moral and legal obligation to Haitians seeking safety, work, and a better future for their families.
Take action today to call on Secretary Johnson to keep families together and reverse its detention and deportation policy for Haitians.
Thank you for all your work and support!
Director of Policy and Advocacy
Immigration and Refugee Program
Church World Service