Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Congressman Hastings Urges Expansion of TPS for Haitians After Hurricane Matthew

For Immediate Release                                                                                                Contact: Evan Polisar

October 12, 2016                                                                                                                (202) 225-1313

Hastings Urges President Obama to Expand TPS for Haitians Affected by Hurricane Matthew

(Fort Lauderdale, FL) Today, Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) sent the following letter to President Barack Obama, urging him to set a date under Haiti’s Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation that will account for the effects of Hurricane Matthew on the country.(Please find below and attached a copy of the letter.)

October 12, 2016

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

I write to you today to respectfully request that you set a date under Haiti’s Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation that will account for the devastating effects Hurricane Matthew has had on that country.

As I know you are aware, on October 4, 2016, Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti causing catastrophic damage throughout the country. As of the writing of this letter, over 800 Haitians are reported dead and 350,000 in need of assistance. Jeremie, Haiti, the capital of Haiti’s Grand’Anse Department, saw 80% of its buildings levelled during the hurricane. In Haiti’s Sud Province, 30,000 homes have been destroyed and crops devastated.

It is generally agreed that when Hurricane Matthew made landfall earlier this week, Haiti had still not fully recovered from the 2010 earthquake, which was responsible for the deaths of over 200,000 Haitians, incredible structural damage and a horrific cholera epidemic.

Given these facts, I believe it is appropriate to grant a TPS designation for those Haitians affected by Hurricane Matthew, and I ask that you do all that you can to ensure that such a designation is made without delay and uses as its Continuous Residence date, October 4, 2016.

Finally, I would like to reiterate that which was stated in the bi-partisan letter I joined with over fifty of my colleagues and was recently sent to you – namely that an immediate halt should be put to the Department of Homeland Security’s recently announced decision to resume deportations to Haiti. Such a policy is ill-advised given Haiti’s current situation.

Thank you for your timely attention to this matter. Should you or your staff have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 202-225-1313.


Alcee L. Hastings
Member of Congress

Congressman Alcee L. Hastings serves as Senior Member of the House Rules Committee, Ranking Democratic Member of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Co-Chairman of the Florida Delegation.


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