Categorized | International, Local, News, Regional

Caribbean American Congresswoman introduces legislation to expand TPS for Haitians

By Nelson A. King

WASHINGTON, Feb 10, CMC –Caribbean American Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke has introduced legislation in the United States House of Representatives that would dramatically expand the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) programme to include all Haitian nationals who were in the United States prior to November 4, 2016.

Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, who represents the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, New York, told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that the bill would grant 18 months of TPS to every eligible Haitian.

Clarklee
Yvette D. Clarke

She said TPS for Haitian nationals living in the United States was established after the January 12, 2010 devastating earthquake in Haiti “to start the process of recovery and to provide invaluable support in the form of remittances to family members there.

“The programme was created – and extended –based on need,” Clarke said., adding “those needs have increased since Haiti suffered extensive damage during Hurricane Matthew last year, when hundreds of people were killed and thousands of families were displaced.

“Unfortunately, despite the difficulties in Haiti, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) previously refused to grant TPS to Haitians who reached the United States after 2011, excluding thousands of people who would deservedly benefit. Therefore, Congress must act.”

If enacted, she said the Haiti Emergency Relief Act of 2017 would allow Haitian nationals to “maintain their remittances, which amount to about 25 per cent of the nation’s gross domestic product, and the people of Haiti to continue the process of recovery.

“I urge my colleagues in Congress to work together to aid the people of Haiti at this crucial time,” she said.

Last November, Clarke had urged the Obama administration to immediately halt the deportation of undocumented Haitians, stating that “the majority of the people DHS intends to remove have not been accused of any crime.”

Clarke, with 13 of her congressional colleagues, had urged DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson to suspend the removal of Haitian nationals who have not been convicted of a serious crime or otherwise present a threat to US national security.

Earlier, two major Haitian Diaspora groups in New York launched an online petition requesting that Obama also immediately halt the deportation of undocumented Haitians in the wake of the massive destruction caused by Hurricane Matthew.

The Haiti Renewal Alliance and the United Front of the Haitian Diaspora launched the petition, saying that they were hoping to build awareness to support it, which, on receiving 100,000 signatures, will require an official response from the White House.

Last October, Florida Democratic Congressman Alcee L. Hastings, who represents Ft. Lauderdale, sent a letter to Obama, urging him to set a date under Haiti’s TPS designation that will account for the effects of Hurricane Matthew on the French-speaking Caribbean country.

Last month, New York City Council has passed a resolution requesting that Johnson renews TPS for undocumented Haitian nationals.

The resolution, introduced by Brooklyn Council Member Dr. Mathieu Eugene, the first Haitian to be elected to the City Council, was “part of an ongoing effort to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Haiti while providing Haitians living abroad the opportunity to remain in a stable environment,”.

Eugene, who represents the largely Caribbean 40th Council District in Brooklyn, said that, over the past decade, Haiti has suffered from a number of natural disasters, including tropical storms, earthquakes, and, most recently, a hurricane.

“This legislation will help to lessen the burden on Haiti as it continues its rebuilding process,” said Eugene, a member of the City Council Immigration Committee.

“Any country in the world, even a rich country, would find it difficult to recover after several natural disasters,” he said

The DHS disclosed in December that over 200 Haitians had been deported in the previous weeks.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

by STAFF WRITER

By Nelson A. King

WASHINGTON, Feb 10, CMC –Caribbean American Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke has introduced legislation in the United States House of Representatives that would dramatically expand the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) programme to include all Haitian nationals who were in the United States prior to November 4, 2016.

Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, who represents the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, New York, told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that the bill would grant 18 months of TPS to every eligible Haitian.

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Clarklee
Yvette D. Clarke

She said TPS for Haitian nationals living in the United States was established after the January 12, 2010 devastating earthquake in Haiti “to start the process of recovery and to provide invaluable support in the form of remittances to family members there.

“The programme was created – and extended –based on need,” Clarke said., adding “those needs have increased since Haiti suffered extensive damage during Hurricane Matthew last year, when hundreds of people were killed and thousands of families were displaced.

“Unfortunately, despite the difficulties in Haiti, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) previously refused to grant TPS to Haitians who reached the United States after 2011, excluding thousands of people who would deservedly benefit. Therefore, Congress must act.”

If enacted, she said the Haiti Emergency Relief Act of 2017 would allow Haitian nationals to “maintain their remittances, which amount to about 25 per cent of the nation’s gross domestic product, and the people of Haiti to continue the process of recovery.

“I urge my colleagues in Congress to work together to aid the people of Haiti at this crucial time,” she said.

Last November, Clarke had urged the Obama administration to immediately halt the deportation of undocumented Haitians, stating that “the majority of the people DHS intends to remove have not been accused of any crime.”

Clarke, with 13 of her congressional colleagues, had urged DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson to suspend the removal of Haitian nationals who have not been convicted of a serious crime or otherwise present a threat to US national security.

Earlier, two major Haitian Diaspora groups in New York launched an online petition requesting that Obama also immediately halt the deportation of undocumented Haitians in the wake of the massive destruction caused by Hurricane Matthew.

The Haiti Renewal Alliance and the United Front of the Haitian Diaspora launched the petition, saying that they were hoping to build awareness to support it, which, on receiving 100,000 signatures, will require an official response from the White House.

Last October, Florida Democratic Congressman Alcee L. Hastings, who represents Ft. Lauderdale, sent a letter to Obama, urging him to set a date under Haiti’s TPS designation that will account for the effects of Hurricane Matthew on the French-speaking Caribbean country.

Last month, New York City Council has passed a resolution requesting that Johnson renews TPS for undocumented Haitian nationals.

The resolution, introduced by Brooklyn Council Member Dr. Mathieu Eugene, the first Haitian to be elected to the City Council, was “part of an ongoing effort to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Haiti while providing Haitians living abroad the opportunity to remain in a stable environment,”.

Eugene, who represents the largely Caribbean 40th Council District in Brooklyn, said that, over the past decade, Haiti has suffered from a number of natural disasters, including tropical storms, earthquakes, and, most recently, a hurricane.

“This legislation will help to lessen the burden on Haiti as it continues its rebuilding process,” said Eugene, a member of the City Council Immigration Committee.

“Any country in the world, even a rich country, would find it difficult to recover after several natural disasters,” he said

The DHS disclosed in December that over 200 Haitians had been deported in the previous weeks.