In the aftermath of recent legislation affecting U.S. immigration policy, many refugees and undocumented immigrants fear for their lives as they face potential deportation to their country of origin. Brooklyn Congresswoman Yvette Clarke is now advocating for new legislation to protect Haitian refugees from returning to a country still rebuilding after Hurricane Matthew. The Haiti Emergency Relief Act of 2017 would apply to Haitian nationals who were in the U.S. before November 4, 2016 and extend Temporary Protected Status to these eligible individuals for 18 months.
Haitians were originally granted TPS after the 2010 earthquake so that they could seek refuge in the United States and also send remittances to Haiti to support family members still there. Clarke believes that the money generated from remittances of TPS grantees would play a major role in helping Haiti recover.
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Brooklyn Congresswoman Moves to Shield Haitian Refugees From Deportation After Trump Order
Madina Toure, Observer
February 10, 2017
Brooklyn Congresswoman Yvette Clarke—co-chairwoman of the House Caribbean Caucus—has put forward legislation to protect undocumented Haitians from deportation in the aftermath of President Donald Trump‘s executive orders aimed at expelling millions of immigrants.
The Haiti Emergency Relief Act of 2017 would significantly expand the Temporary Protected Status program—which shields refugees from being deported to dangerous homelands—to include all Haitian nationals who were in the United States before November 4, 2016. Clarke pointed to extreme weather events on the island nation as reason to grant 18 months of TPS to every eligible individual.
“Those needs have increased since Haiti suffered extensive damage during Hurricane Matthew last year, when hundreds of people were killed and thousands of families were displaced,” Clarke said. “Congress must act.”
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