NY Politicians And Immigration Advocates Call For Extending TPS For Haitians

On Monday April 24, 2014, Haitian-American New York City Council Member Mathieu Eugene held a press conference in front of City Hall to bring attention to the plight of the 50,000 Haitian nationals currently in the United States  under the temporary protected status (TPS) and likely to lose their status and subsequently deported to the island. Joined by elected officials, clergy, community organizations and immigrant rights groups such as the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC), and the NY Legal Assistance group, NYLAG, the councilman called on Secretary of Homeland Security, Gen. John Kelley to renew the TPS status of these Haitians, contrary to the USCIS recommendation to terminate the program. TPS provides protected status from deportation to undocumented Haitian nationals living and working in the US. The status was afforded to Haitians following the trifecta of the 2010 earthquake, the cholera epidemic brought into the country by UN peacekeepers,  who went there after the democratically elected President Aristide was removed from power by the Bush administration; and the 2016 Hurricane Matthew.  Among those present at the press conference to lend his support and encouragement was the Bishop Guy Sansaricq, although retired but still active in the community and the Diocese of Brooklyn. In a statement, the councilman stated that “Haiti is still struggling to recover from the destructive events of the past decade” and as such, we as concerned citizens and elected officials are morally obliged to do all that is necessary to help the people rebuild their lives. Calling on the government to renew the TPS status thus is not a political issue but goodwill and sympathetic gesture and an “opportunity to provide relief for families who are unable to return to Haiti because of dire situation.”  Last December, the Councilman sponsored a bill, Resolution 1290, which was voted on by the Council, to urge the federal government to extend the TPS status for Haitians. Calls to end the TPS status granted Haitians by the Obama administration after the 2010 earthquake intensified with the assertion by the Acting Director of USCIS, James McCament in a letter to the Trump administration. The letter purported to conclude that conditions have improved in Haiti to warrant ending the status for Haitians. The status which is renewed every 18 months is set to expire on July 22 after which the Acting Director proposed an extension to January to allow for a period of orderly transition, after which the TPS should not be renewed. Numerous immigrant rights groups and civil society organizations as well as politicians have since called on the Trump administration not to maintain the TPS status because situation on the ground have not improved. Senators Marco Rubio and Charles Schumer of Florida and New York respectively have written letters urging Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to renew the TPS for another 18 months. Overall, there is consensus that ending TPS now will have devastating effects on a nation struggling to rebuild from multiple disasters; without any infrastructure in place to absorb and assimilate an influx of 50,000 from the diaspora. The effect will be worsening of an ongoing humanitarian disaster and the potential for a new immigration crisis. Council Member Eugene launched a formal petition, to encourage public support for the extension of TPS. The petition can be signed at Haitian TPS Renewal Dela Harlley
Publier le : 29/04/2017   Auteur :

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