Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Sixteen Democratic Senators Write Secretaries Rex Tillerson and John Kelly Urging them to Extend TPS for 50,00 Haitians 

On July 22, 2017, as many as 50, 000 Haitians could be sent back to their earthquake-ridden country if the Trump administration fails to take action to extend Temporary Protected Status for them.  Sixteen democratic senators, including, the Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Diane Feinstein and Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick J. Leahy wrote Secretaries John Kelly and Rex Tillerson urging them to extend TPS for Haitians who have been living legally in the United States for the past seven years.

The Senators pointed out in their letter that the situation in Haiti has not improved enough to end TPS for Haitian nationals. They wrote:

In light of continued difficult conditions in Haiti, we request that you extend the existing Temporary Protected Statu s (TPS) for certain Haitian nationals currently living in the United States, which is set to expire on July 22, 2017. An extension is necessary to allow Haiti to fully recover from the damage of the January 2010 earthquake and October 2016 hurricane, and to provide security to Haitians living in the United States.

Recently, U.S. Senators and Representatives from both parties sent to Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly urging him to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Additionally, several major U.S. newspapers are calling on President Donald Trump to show compassion for Haitians extending TPS for them.

Read the full article HERE.

More calls for TPS extension here.

Senators Plead with Trump Administration to Let 50,000 Haitians Stay

Alan Gomez , USA TODAY

April 26, 2017

Sixteen senators urged the Trump administration Wednesday to continue immigration protections for 50,000 Haitians living in the U.S. because of severe hardships back home.

The senators, all Democrats, sent a letter responding to a recommendation by the head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to end “temporary protected status” for Haitians by January. The recommendation was first reported by USA TODAY.

The U.S. government has granted such protections to foreigners from 13 countries hammered by natural disasters, famine or war.

In the letter written by Sen. Bob Mendenez, D-N.J., to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, the senators said Haiti still hasn’t recovered from the devastating 2010 earthquake and last year’s Hurricane Matthew.

The temporary protection program was created for foreigners “when extraordinary conditions in their home country pose a serious threat to personal safety,” wrote the senators, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. “Given Haiti’s many challenges, the United States’ focus should be to prioritize disaster assistance and recovery, not to return Haitian nationals to a country lacking the capacity to support them.”

“More than seven years after the devastating earthquake and resulting humanitarian crisis, Haiti has yet to recover,” the senators wrote.

Kelly, who has the final say, has not decided on the Haitians’ fate yet, Homeland Security spokesman David Lapan said.

James McCament, acting director of Citizenship and Immigration Services, wrote on April 10 that “conditions in Haiti no longer support its designation” for temporary protections. He suggested extending protections set to end July 22 through next January.

McCament wrote that 96% of the people who lost their homes during the earthquake are no longer living in temporary camps. But an agency report in December said that still leaves 55,000 people in temporary camps, and many who left were either evicted or moved back into their damaged homes.

The senators’ letter highlighted the difficulties that remain.

Read the full article HERE.

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