If you are an organization or person serving the Haitian community in any capacity, broadly defined, please ENDORSE and broadly DISSEMINATE this Letter for Endorsement by Organizations and Individuals Serving the Haitian community.
In 48 hours, at least 105 have already endorsed. PLEASE JOIN THEM AND KEEP OUR MOMENTUM BUILDING!
Kelly is expected to make his decision within the next few weeks. For further information, see http://www.ijdh.org/2016/10/topics/immigration-topics/dhs-should-extend-tps-for-haitians/
To endorse the letter, please fill in your information here .
Here is the full draft of the letter:
May , 2017
Hon. Donald J. Trump President of the United States
Hon. John F. Kelly, Secretary U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Dear President Trump and Secretary Kelly:
We write as organizations and leaders in and serving the Haitian American community on an issue of extreme concern and urgency, DHS’s impending decision whether to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nearly 50,000 long-resident Haitians — whose remittances sustain as many as 500,000 relatives in Haiti, to the benefit of its stability and our national security – for 18 months beyond July 22. We know and appreciate that Secretary Kelly is intimately familiar with Haiti and that President Trump visited the Haitian community during the campaign and promised to be its champion.
We concur with USCIS’s extremely detailed, 8-page single-spaced December 2016 review and assessment that the conditions warranting TPS for this group persist. We respectfully disagree with its recent unfounded contrary recommendation and urge you to extend TPS for 18 months for those currently enjoying this status, i.e. who applied as having been present in the United States on or before January 12, 2010 (updated to January 12, 2011 to cover some post-earthquake parolees).
We respectfully ask this for compelling reasons referenced below and urged by bipartisan political leaders and by the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Miami Herald, Sun Sentinel, and New York Daily News editorial boards, among many others.
TPS for the 50,000 has been renewed in 18-month increments and is appropriate today because it remains unsafe to deport due to conditions including incomplete earthquake recovery; the still-unchecked cholera epidemic, the world’s worst; and Hurricane Matthew’s vast destruction in October, which has caused a severe food insecurity crisis.
Haiti is reeling from these two massive calamities since the January 2010, 7.0 magnitude quake killed at least 200,000, destroyed Port au Prince, effected a third of Haiti’s people, cost an estimated 120% of its GDP, and from which recovery remains incomplete.
In October, 2016, Hurricane Matthew, Haiti’s worst hurricane in 52 years, affected 2 million Haitians, left 1.4 million including 800,000 children in need of emergency aid, killed 1,000, rendered 800,000 extremely food insecure, left 1,250,000 including 500,000 children without safe water, destroyed livestock and crops in broad areas, damaged or destroyed at least 716 schools interrupting the education of an estimated 490,000 children, dramatically increased the number of cholera cases in effected areas, and destroyed entire towns which were cut off from the outside world by flooding and infrastructure damage. According to a March 2017 United Nations Report, the hurricane cost Haiti $2.7 billion, or 32% of its GDP.
Hurricane Matthew’s destruction of crops and livestock has also caused a food insecurity crisis today –Haitians in some effected areas are dying of malnutrition — and efforts to repair Matthew’s vast infrastructure and other damage have been slow and limited.
Another post-quake sledgehammer blow is killing and sickening Haitians today. Haiti had not had cholera in at least 100 years, but UN peacekeepers’ unsanitary practices caused a cholera outbreak in October, 2010 which by conservative estimates has killed and sickened 9,500 and 900,000 Haitians. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has called the cholera epidemic “the worst in recent history,” and the United Nations, which until December failed to acknowledge responsibility, has to date raised only $2 million of the $400 million it targeted to even begin addressing this deadly crisis.
These are extraordinary conditions fully warranting TPS extension. Haiti today cannot safely assimilate 50,000 long-resident deportees or replace their remittances on which hundreds of thousands depend. Remittances are Haiti’s chief form of foreign aid and totaled $1.3 billion from the United States alone in 2015 — about 15% of Haiti’s GDP.
Deporting them would also hurt communities you pledged to champion. The 50,000 are noncriminals (by TPS requirement) who have mostly been here 7 to 15 years, working and raising families including U.S.-born children who should not be forced to choose between their parents and their birthright and future as Americans.
Failure to extend TPS given these conditions would be disastrous for families here and there and destabilizing, adding a significant burden to a nation already saddled with overwhelming challenges, increasing desperation and possibly entailing additional U.S. Coast Guard interdiction resources, among other possible consequences. Haiti’s stability is in the national security interest of the United States.
For these reasons, we respectfully ask that you extend Haiti’s TPS designation for another 18 months, and we appreciate your consideration on this important matter.