Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Former and Current U.S. Officials Urging Sec John Kelly to Extend TPS for Haitian Nationals

The current Temporary Protected Status (TPS) that allows Haitians to legally reside in the United States after the 2010 earthquake will expire on July 22, and the fate of over 50,000 Haitians rests in the hands of Homeland Security Secretary, John Kelly.  Last April, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) acting Director James McCament recommended that the U.S. government end TPS for Haitian nationals. This recommendation is contradictory to the USCIS’s last December report that finds that the situation is still precarious in Haiti. The report also states that the country is still experiencing housing shortages, a cholera epidemic, limited medical care, economic concerns, food insecurity and security threats, which makes “unsuitable” for Haitians current living in the U.S. to return to their home. Leon Rodriguez, McCament’s predecessor, said: “It’s in the best interest of the U.S. to protect refugees.” Add […]

Allowing TPS Expiration for Haitians May Signal Future of Trump Administration

Recent recommendations from the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to end TPS by January have shocked many who understand the instability that still affects tens of thousands in Haiti. Currently, +40,000 Haitians live in makeshift shelter or tents, the country is recovering from damage to much of its infrastructure, and the southern regions suffer from a severe food and housing shortage in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. After visiting Haiti and seeing the situation there, politicians have urged President Trump and DHS Secretary Kelly to renew TPS. However, many now fear that these warnings will go unheeded by the Trump administration as it approaches the July 22 deadline for extension. Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the original article. Tens of thousands of Haitians could be sent back to Haiti if Trump agency has its way Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald […]

Miami Herald Urges Extension of TPS for Haitians

The Miami Herald Editorial Board is joining in calls for the United States to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians. TPS was first granted for Haitians on January 15, 2010, following the deadly earthquake of January 12. It has been extended continuously ever since but now the expiration date of July 22 is fast approaching with no indication of what will happen next and over 50,000 Haitians at risk of deportation if TPS isn’t extended. Haiti is still reeling from Hurricane Matthew, the UN cholera epidemic and even remaining damage from the 2010 earthquake. The government is in no position to handle deportees. There has been a bipartisan effort to extend TPS with letters signed by: Senators Nelson, Rubio, Schumer and Gillibrand; and Representatives Curbelo, Deutch, Diaz-Balart, Frankel, Hastings, Love, Ros-Lehtinen, Wasserman Schultz and Wilson. Part of the editorial is […]

Hurricane Matthew Affects Agricultural Production & Raises Concerns for Future

Many families in Haiti are struggling to get by and meet their basic needs, amidst a rising food shortage months after Hurricane Matthew wreaked havoc in the southern part of the country. Experts warn that the situation could be approaching a famine, and it will continue to deteriorate in the coming months if production does not increase this growing season. Authorities have not done enough to alleviate the crisis; the availability of shelter and food is still far below the demand. And, while initial humanitarian responses did help with providing food and water, the efforts did not focus enough on rebuilding agricultural capacity and helping Haitians regain their livelihoods. Now, months after the storm, many worry that Hurricane Matthew’s destruction will continue to be felt for a long time to come. Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the original article. […]

UN Lacks Credibility After Years of Failed Promises & Impunity

The UN Security Council is set to vote today on the future of the UN in Haiti and what, if anything, should replace the current peacekeeping mission. However, as the decision looms near, the UN continues its controversial legacy of injustice, exploitation and impunity in the struggling country. MINUSTAH has been heavily criticized for widespread sexual exploitation and abuse of vulnerable Haitians, which calls into question the UN’s immunity laws, its response to allegations and system for redress. Additionally, after 6 years of denying responsibility for the cholera outbreak that has killed over 10,000, the UN finally acknowledged its role in bringing the deadly disease to Haiti, but now struggles to fund its program to end cholera and compensate victims. Whatever the future might hold for the UN mission, though, one thing is certain; the UN must first right its wrongs in Haiti, or its lack […]

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 […]

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