Sunday, 23 September, 2018

Haitians in USA get slight reprieve but worry about future

Trump Administration Lets Down Haitian Community Haitians in USA get slight reprieve but worry about future
Sandy Vega | 23 May, 2017, 14:44

Paul Altidor, the Haitian ambassador to the USA - who called on Kelly to extend TPS by

The deadline for the US government's decision on whether to extend TPS is May 21.

"Following a meeting last week with Haitian Senators Wilfrid Gélin and Wanique Pierre, I chose to wage a Twitter storm in a last-ditch effort to save the nation's Temporary Protected Status designation", Wilson said in a statement. Senior department officials on a call Monday with reporters said such statistics did not factor into Kelly's decision nor were they able to provide any such data.

A Flag from Haiti is pictured in a local store as a woman walks under rain at the neighborhood of Brooklyn in NY, U.S. May 13, 2017.

The Department of Homeland Security will issue a notice to the Federal Register to extend temporary protected status within the coming days. The latest extension means that Haitians with TPS can breathe for now but will face the same suspense in November, when DHS must again decide whether to extend their TPS or allow it to expire. Nermose Richemon, 33, has lived in the US since 2005.

The quake killed tens of thousands of Haitians and displaced more than one million, and the country has since been hit by a cholera epidemic.

"The Haitian economy continues to recover and grow, and 96 percent of people displaced by the quake and living in internally displaced person camps have left those camps", Kelly said in the statement. "Even more encouraging is that over 98 percent of these camps have closed", he said. "We plan to continue to work closely with the Haitian government, including assisting the government in proactively providing travel documents for its citizens".

Haitians at least have support across Congress: A number of USA senators have sent letters pressing for an extension of TPS, including Sen.

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The department has already threatened to pull money from jurisdictions that prevent local police and sheriffs from freely sharing information with federal immigration authorities about the citizenship status of people in their custody.

"Haiti is still struggling to recover from the devastation caused by Hurricane Mathew and will need more time to recover", echoed 32BJ SEIU president Héctor Figueroa in a statement.

That drew applause from Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy and two Democratic gubernatorial candidates, Gwen Graham and Andrew Gillum. "They were trying to frame it as though it was a big win", said Marleine Bastien.

The TPS allows the Haitians to remain in the United States past the expiration of their visas and work legally.

Haitian community members joined in prayer with lawmakers - including state Representative Dan Cullinane, state Senator Linda Dorcena Forry, and state Representative Daniel Cahill - last week at a Haitian Heritage Day event at the Massachusetts State House.

"The reality is that in six months Haiti will still be in no position to absorb and aid 58,000 unemployed people", she said in a statement.

"It will still be recovering from the 2010 quake and the subsequent cholera epidemic imported by United Nations peacekeepers that has killed 10,000". Advocates, however, contend that the 2010 natural disaster, the subsequent cholera epidemic and last year's Hurricane Matthew have left the island ravaged. Haiti can't safely assimilate 50,000 deportees nor, crucially, replace their remittances to hundreds of thousands of families back home. She invited Kelly to take a trip with her to Haiti as the US does not now have an ambassador there. "It is in no shape to receive thousands of Haitians back to their homeland".

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