Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

TPS Extension Is in Both Haitian and U.S. Interests

Marleine Bastien, the Executive Director of Haitian Women of Miami, discusses the importance of  extending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for over 50,000 legally residing in the U.S. In December 2016, former Secretary of State John Kerry recommended that TPS be extended for Haitians due to continued instability in their home country. However, in what seems to be a drastic departure from this prior recommendation, the acting director of USCIS, James McCament, recently opined that circumstances in Haiti have improved and have not warranted the full extension of TPS. In reality, Haiti still has many obstacles to overcome in its path to recovery from the January 2010 Earthquake, including destruction from Hurricane Matthew, a deadly cholera epidemic and growing food and housing insecurity. Haiti will be unable to support 50,000 dislocated Haitians, and communities across the U.S., including Disney World and Little Haiti, FL, would suffer […]

Extending Haitians’ TPS is in U.S. Interests Too

Haitians were granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in the United States after the 2010 earthquake killed over 250,000 people and destroyed much of Port-au-Prince’s infrastructure. Even today, over 500,000 people are still living in tents since the earthquake. Hurricane Matthew, which devastated the southern peninsula of Haiti in October 2016, made the situation even worse and also exacerbated the cholera epidemic brought by UN peacekeepers in 2010. Haiti is not equipped to handle the 58,000 people who would be forced to return if TPS is not renewed and besides severely destabilizing its close neighbor, the U.S. would lose countless social, economic and political contributions Haitians make to this country. Part of the article is below. Read the full article here. Haitians still need protective status Marleine Bastien, Miami Herald April 11, 2017 In October 2016, Haiti was once again hit by […]

Haitian Communities’ Stress Mounts as TPS Deadline Approaches

After the devastating 2010 earthquake, Haitians were granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in the U.S. because the conditions in Haiti were too poor to accommodate them. Ever since then, the deadline has been extended every 18 months but now, major uncertainty looms over how the Trump administration will deal with TPS. Will they allow Haitians a more permanent path to staying in the U.S. as has been recommended by a Federal court in San Francisco, will they extend TPS for Haitians or will they end TPS altogether? Some Haitians are even being denied jobs due to the fear that their work permits will expire this summer. The continued suffering and hunger after the October 2016 Hurricane Matthew demonstrates that Haiti is still ill-equipped to handle a large influx of people. Haitians living in the U.S. are able to send remittances back […]

Haitians Fear for the Future as They Continue to Urge Immediate TPS Extension

Approximately 58,000 Haitians will be sent back to Haiti if their Temporary Protected Status, which was approved by President Obama after the 2010 earthquake, is not extended after its expiration in July. Haitians, their families, lawyers, politicians, and community members fear the devastating effects if TPS is not extended and they are required to return to a struggling Haiti. Tens of thousands of individuals will lose their jobs and be unable to send remittances back to their families. Additionally, returning to Haiti would create even more risks for these individuals and the country as a whole, which already faces a severe food shortage, cholera outbreak and lack of adequate shelter. Although TPS does not expire until July, lawyers warn that the changes need to happen immediately. Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the original article. Haitians wonder if […]

Why Re-Designating Temporary Protected Status for Haiti is Much-Needed

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) was first designated for Haitians who were in the United States on or before the devastating earthquake of 2010. Now, after Hurricane Matthew has worsened Haiti’s already-poor infrastructure and cholera epidemic, TPS should be redesignated. Haiti cannot currently support people who were deported, and redesignation would also help much-needed remittances be sent back to help Haiti recover. In this article, IJDH’s Steven Forester and FANM’s Marleine Bastien explain the importance of TPS and urge president Obama to redesignate it while he still has the chance. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Here’s why Obama should broaden TPS for Haitians Marleine Bastien & Steven Forester, Miami Herald December 25, 2016 Last week, Haitian Americans nationwide contacted the White House and their representatives in Congress urging President Obama to act on three goals […]

U.S. Plan to Deport Haitians Raises Fairness Questions

September 22’s U.S. Department of Homeland Security policy change – resuming noncriminal Haiti deportations to Haiti (for the first time since the 2010 earthquake) despite continued unstable conditions there – shocked and disappointed Haitian Americans. It also renewed questions about the fairness of DHS’ Haitian Family Reunification Program (HFRP). Renewing deportations can only be destabilizing, since Haiti is in no position to receive additional deportees. Meanwhile, as of June 30, only 1,952 beneficiaries had been approved under HFRP, which was created in part to generate additional remittances to help Haiti recover. (In contrast, DHS has welcomed over 100,000 under its Cuban FRP.) The low HFRP number is due to DHS’s arbitrary limitation of eligibility to beneficiaries already within at most three years of getting their visas, although the approved wait list extends to about 13 years. DHS should expand HFRP to include those further years back on the wait […]

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