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Updated: 2 hours 5 min ago

Both U.S. and Haiti Will Benefit from TPS Extension

14 hours 36 min ago

The Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly is expected to make a decision by Tuesday to extend Temporary Protected Status for nearly 60,000 Haitians have been residing in the U.S. in the past seven years. Those Haitians have become part of the communities where they live and the country’s workforce. They have worked,  paid their taxes and supported their loved ones back home. Haiti has been reeled by a series of natural disasters, including the 2010 earthquake, the cholera epidemic (which is still not under control), and the most recent one Hurricane Matthew that ruined the most southern part of the country last October. “The Haitian program is so important,” says Stephen Legomsky, a USCIS chief counsel during the Obama administration. Legomsky added, “There would be tremendous human hardship on a huge scale if thousands of people were to return to the country at once.”

Call your representatives and senators to urge them to support TPS for Haitians. For more information on TPS extension, please visit our website.

Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE to read the full article.

Trump Administration Could Send Thousands to Crisis-Plagued Haiti—or Underground

Nathalie Baptiste and P.R. Lockhart, Mother Jones

May 22, 2017

Lys Isma lives legally in the United States. She has no memory of ever living anywhere else. But depending on a decision the Trump administration is expected to make by Tuesday, she could be forced to move to Haiti.

The Department of Homeland Security is set to announce whether it will extend a program that allows Haitian nationals to live in the United States because of the dire conditions in Haiti. The Caribbean nation had yet to fully recover from the 2010 earthquake when contamination at a UN base caused a cholera epidemic that has killed 10,000 people. Last October, Hurricane Matthew ripped through the country, killing hundreds more, destroying crops and homes, and displacing thousands.

After the earthquake, the Obama administration gave Haiti a Temporary Protected Status designation. First introduced in 1990, the TPS program provides humanitarian relief to nationals of countries coping with a severe conflict or natural disaster. By providing recipients with legal status and work authorization, TPS designations—typically granted in 6- to 18-month cycles that can be renewed indefinitely—have become a crucial means of aiding people who face unsafe conditions should they be sent back to their home country.

Isma was only nine months old when she came to the United States from Haiti with her family, which continued to live in the country without documents. “It wasn’t until my father was deported when I was seven that I truly understood what it meant to live in fear,” she said on a recent press call organized by immigration advocates.

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Click HERE to read the full article.

Former Haitian Mayor who Evaded Justice in His Homeland to Appear in U.S. Court

May 18, 2017 - 12:10

Les Irois’ Mayor Jean Morose Viliena who fled to the United States to escape justice in Haiti, is scheduled to appear in U.S. court in Boston, MA, on May 18, 2017. Viliena was accused of committing human rights abuses against people he perceived as his political opponents. He was under investigation when he left Haiti. Last March, BAI, IJDH and the Center for Justice and Accountability filed a civil case in a U.S. court in Boston against a Haitian mayor who committed many crimes and escaped to the United State to evade justice in Haiti. One of the three plaintiffs in the case, Nissage Martyr, died under suspicious circumstances the day after the filing. The government has finally agreed to an autopsy, and a renowned doctor has volunteered to help.

Read the full article HERE.

Ex-Haitian mayor accused of rights abuses to appear in U.S. courtBy Nate Raymond, Associated PressMay 18, 2017

The former mayor of a rural town in Haiti is due to make his first appearance in a U.S. court in Boston on Thursday over a lawsuit accusing him of murdering, torturing and burning the homes of his political opponents between 2007 and 2009.

Jean Morose Viliena fled Les Irois, Haiti around January 2009 when authorities there began investigating. He had been working as a school bus driver while living in Malden, Massachusetts, according to lawyers for three former constituents.

Viliena, backed by an armed militia, committed human rights abuses by routinely using violence against perceived political opponents or people who complained about how he governed the town of about 22,300 people, the lawsuit said.

In court papers, Viliena denied the allegations. Viliena is serving as his own attorney.

Lawyers with the Center for Justice and Accountability representing three Haitian nationals said they filed the lawsuit seeking unspecified damages in March because Viliena has not been convicted in Haiti.

Read the full article HERE.

Cities Across the U.S. Await Looming TPS Decision

May 18, 2017 - 12:05

Nearly 60,000 Haitian nationals have been legally residing in the U.S. for the past seven years  could be deported if the Trump administration fails to renew Temporary Protected Status for Haitians. Haiti’s situation is still precarious. Failing to extend TPS for those Haitians will not only directly affect them and their families, but cities across the country would lose valuable members of the workforces and their communities. A wide range of advocacy groups, politicians, religious figures, doctors and unions have come out in support of TPS extension. Their reasons vary from humanitarian to practical reasons, but, despite some opposition, the message is clear: extend TPS for Haitians.

Add your voice: Call your representatives and senators to urge them to support TPS for Haitians. For more information on TPS extension and its supporters, please visit our website.

Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the full article.

Decision Time Nears on Status for Haitians in the US

Maria Cramer, The Boston Globe

May 18, 2017

The federal government has until next Monday to decide the fate of nearly 60,000 Haitians who have been allowed to stay and work in the United States after the 2010 earthquake that devastated their country.

In 2011, the Obama administration granted “temporary protected status” to people from Haiti, which allows immigrants from a designated country who are already living in the United States the right to stay and work legally if they cannot return to their country because of violence or natural disaster.

As the deadline looms, here is a look at the consequences of revoking the status for affected Haitians, those who support extending the program and those who oppose it:

Click HERE for the full article.

Press Release: 330 Organizations and Community Leaders Urge TPS Extension

May 18, 2017 - 08:01

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Steven Forester, Immigration Policy Coordinator, Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), steveforester@aol.com, 786-877-6999

130 Organizations and 200 Individuals Urge Extension of Haiti’s TPS Designation, Joining Bipartisan Political and Extensive Editorial and Religious Support

(May 18, 2017) Today 330 organizations and persons serving the Haitian American community wrote President Trump, Homeland Security Secretary Kelly, and Secretary of State Tillerson urging DHS to extend Haiti’s Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for another 18 months.

“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,” they wrote, noting bipartisan political and other support including powerful editorials by the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Miami Herald, Sun Sentinel, Palm Beach Post, and New York Daily News.

Incomplete earthquake recovery, an unchecked cholera epidemic introduced by UN peacekeepers in October 2010 that has claimed nearly a million victims, and last October’s devastating Hurricane Matthew make deporting 50,000 long-resident TPS recipients unsafe, they write, noting that Haiti can’t safely assimilate them or replace the crucial remittances they send back to as many as 500,000 family members.

Failing to extend TPS would be a disaster for families here and in Haiti, destabilizing, and bad for US national security, the leaders note.

Recently 416 faith-based organizations and leaders urged TPS extension, and on May 11 Republican U.S. Representative Dan Donovon, Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness joined 18 U.S. Senators and 72 other U.S. Representatives of both parties who wrote earlier letters urging Haiti TPS extension; Donovan wrote that not doing so would be destabilizing and bad for the economy of both nations.

Today’s letter, sent on a unique letterhead including the logos of 38 endorsing organizations, notes that President Trump promised during the campaign to be the Haitian American community’s “biggest champion.”  DHS Secretary Kelly must decide whether to extend Haiti’s TPS status, which Haiti’s government is urging, by May 23.

Click HERE to see the PDF version.

“Outstanding Student of the Year” Faces Deportation if TPS Expires

May 18, 2017 - 07:01

Cansery Goguette has been doing everything he can to secure a steady future; he’s been learning English for the past seven years, was recognized by the Massachusetts Coalition for Adult Education as its 2017 Outstanding Student of the Year, and is just one exam away from receiving his high school diploma. But Goguette, who fled Haiti after the 2010 earthquake left him and his sons homeless, faces deportation if his Temporary Protected Status expires. “If I go back to my country without my high school diploma, I can’t do anything,” Goguette told WCBV, “I want to stay to help my sons.” Goguette won’t just face unemployment if he’s deported, but a country that is still struggling to recover from Hurricane Matthew, as Reliefweb illustrates.

 

Add your voice: Call your representatives and senators to urge them to support TPS for Haitians. For more information on TPS extension, please visit our website.

Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the original article.

Top Brockton student, Haitian dad may face deportation

Anna Burgess, The Enterprise

May 17, 2017

Haitian immigrant Cansery Goguette has dreams of becoming a police investigator.

He has spent the past seven years learning English, is one test away from his high school diploma, and on May 12 was honored by the Massachusetts Coalition for Adult Education as their 2017 Outstanding Student of the Year, the Enterprise reported.

He may never see his full educational potential realized, though.

This year, Goguette will likely be forced to return to Haiti when his Temporary Protected Status expires.

….

Click HERE for the original article.

 

Hundreds of Haitians Gather in Orlando Church to Plead for TPS Extension

May 15, 2017 - 06:21

Nearly 2,000 people gathered in Eglise Baptiste Philadelphie d’Orlando in hopes of pushing the Trump administration to extend TPS for the 58,000 Haitians living under the program’s protection. Organizers screened a clip of Donald Trump’s campaign stop in Little Haiti, at which he promised to be the Haitian people’s “greatest champion.” The Trump administration is expected to make a decision by next Tuesday, May 23.

Add your voice: Call your representatives and senators to urge them to support TPS for Haitians. For more information on TPS extension, please visit our website.

Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the original article.

Haitians rally in Orlando as deadline to extend immigration protections nears

Monivette Cordeiro, Orlando Weekly

May 15, 2017
Almost 2,000 people crowded into the Eglise Baptiste Philadelphie d’Orlando church last weekend to demand that President Donald Trump expand immigration protections for Haitians who fear they may be deported.

The deadline for the Trump administration to decide whether it wants to extend temporary protected status for Haitians is May 23. The Obama administration granted Haitians this status after the devastating 2010 earthquake in the Caribbean country, which killed hundreds of thousands of people and left more than a million people homeless. Haiti had not yet recovered when it was hit last year by Hurricane Matthew.

Last month, James McCament, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, said “conditions in Haiti no longer support its designation” for temporary protected status for refugees. If the Department of Homeland Security does not extend protections for 58,000 Haitians, they could be sent back to their country when the program expires on July 22. The Tampa Bay Times reports even Florida Gov. Rick Scott has asked DHS Secretary John Kelly to extend protections for the thousands of Haitians who live in the state.

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Click HERE for the original article.

Deporting Tens of Thousands of Haitians to Haiti Could Impede Progress

May 14, 2017 - 11:57

The Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has until May 22 to decide about TPS extension for Haitians, which would allow more than 50,000 Haitian nationals to remain legal residents in the U.S. As the date approaches, more leaders are coming forth to acknowledge the importance of allowing those Haitian nationals to stay; not only is it humane, given the current situation in Haiti, but it is also practical for the U.S. Over 4,300 TPS beneficiaries are currently living in Massachusetts and parts of New Hampshire. The Haitian Ambassador to the U.S., Paul G. Altidor, has also expressed concerns about the implications of  deporting tens of thousands of Haitians to a country that cannot support them, including the increase of illegal and risky immigration back to the U.S. Things are improving in Haiti, he says, but slowly; an influx of 50,000 would destabilize Haiti and threaten the progress that has already been made.

Visit our website for more information on TPS extension.

Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the original article.

Exiled by an earthquake, Haitians in Boston are in limbo

Maria Cramer, The Boston Globe

May 14, 2017

Marianne never intended to stay in the United States. She came to New York on a temporary visa in 2008, hoping to sell her handmade jewelry and make enough money to take home to Haiti. Two years later, a powerful earthquake struck there, killing at least 200,000 people and leaving Haiti — and her home — in rubble.

Since then, Marianne and nearly 60,000 other Haitians have been allowed to live legally in the United States, thanks to a federal program known as temporary protected status, designed for people who, because of violence or natural disasters, cannot return home.

Now the Trump administration is weighing whether to bring an end to their stay, a decision that could affect more than 4,300 Haitians living in Massachusetts and parts of New Hampshire.

The Department of Homeland Security has until May 22 to decide whether to extend the program for Haitians beyond the expiration date of July 22.

If the program is not extended, it could lead to the deportation of thousands of Haitians.

Hundreds of religious leaders, members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation, and union officials, as well as Haiti’s ambassador to the United States, have written letters to Department of Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly, imploring him to extend the status not just as a humanitarian gesture, but also as a matter of practicality for the United States.

Haitians represent a sizable portion of home health aides and nursing staff, a US workforce that is already shrinking, said Robert Espinoza, vice president of policy at PHI National, which represents home care workers and nursing assistants.

Click HERE for the original article.

Republican Gov. Rick Scott Presses DHS to Extend TPS for Haiti

May 12, 2017 - 07:21

Republican Governor Rick Scott of Florida urged Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to extend TPS for Haitians in a meeting on Thursday. DHS spokesman David Lapan noted that the secretary still hasn’t made a decision regarding extending TPS, which will allow over 50,000 Haitians to continue to live legally in the United States. Lapan said Sec. Kelly and Gov. Scott “did have a conversation about the program and the secretary listened to the Governor’s points about his desire for DHS to extend TPS.” The governor joins the growing bipartisan support for TPS extension, including Rep. Dan Donovan (R, NY), members of both Massachusetts‘ and New York’s congressional delegations, and 16 Senate Democrats

Add your voice: Call your representatives and senators to urge them to support TPS for Haitians. For more information on TPS extension, please visit our website.

Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the original article.

Rick Scott asks Trump administration to extend protection for Haitians

Alex Leary, Tampa Bay Times

May 12, 2017

WASHINGTON – Gov. Rick Scott has pressed the Trump administration to back off on timeline that could result in the deportation of thousands of Haitians, many living in Florida.

Scott raised the issue in a meeting Thursday with Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly. “Temporary protected status” for Haitians expires in July and they could be expelled in January.

“The secretary has not made a decision on TPS for Haiti,” spokesman David Lapan told the Tampa Bay Times. “He and Gov. Scott did have a conversation about the program and the secretary listened to the Governor’s points about his desire for DHS to extend TPS.”

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Click HERE for the original article.

The Disability Community in Collaboration with Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) Pay Tribute to Three Death Women Murdered In Cabaret, Haiti

May 12, 2017 - 03:44

On April 26, 2017, managing director of Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI), Mario Joseph, in consultation with several representatives of organizations for disabled people (SHAA, RANIPH, UFMORF and  AFAS) met at the BAI office locate in downtown Port-au-Prince to pay tribute to Sophonie Gelin, Vanessa Prévil and Monique Vincent, the three death women who were assassinated in Cabaret on March 18, 2016.

During the meeting, Mario and the representatives of other organizations made a resolution to work on honoring the memories of these three deaf women, while continuing to advocate for justice and reparation for them in particular, and for the whole disability community in general.

It was an opportunity for Mario Joseph, the lawyer of the three deaf women to review the recent development of the case while showing the positive impact of advocacy on this development. Mario said,“Following the sit-in on March 10, 2017 in front of the Court of First Instance (lower court) of Port-au-Prince, and the march of the organizations for disabled people in Cabaret to protest against the slowness of Haitian justice system on March 17, a year after the assassination of the three deaf women. The judge has finally decided to take necessary steps to hear key individuals in the investigation of the case.”

Mario added that the judge invited two people: one of them is a police officer who was present at the time of the assassination and did nothing to prevent these reprehensible criminal acts, and the mother of the alleged criminals who was inside the house when the criminal acts were committed. “  The judge also sent letters rogatory (letter of request) to the Direction Centrale de la Police Judiciaire (DCPJ) requesting to hear other individuals involved in this assassination,” Mario concluded.

Additionally, Dr. Michel Pean of the Société Haïtienne d’Aide aux Aveugles (SHAA) also gave an update on the progress with the Mayor of the town of Cabaret who welcomed the idea of changing the name of the place ‘Haut-Damier’ where the bodies of the three women were thrown after their assassination, to a name that will forever remind people of these acts of barbarism. The participants suggested the name Rue des trois femmes sourdes (Road of the three deaf women) to the Mayor.

The meeting was also a time for the attendees to demand a symbolic reparation for victims women, by erecting three sculptures representing the portraits of these three deaf women on the street to be renamed.

U.S. Government’s Criminal Investigation On Haitian Nationals Is Against Everything America Stands for

May 10, 2017 - 07:13

The criminal investigation launched by the Trump administration on Haitian nationals living in the United State for the past seven years is disheartening. This investigation has one goal, which is to dehumanize Haitians. It also stands against American values and all that the U.S. stands for. Steven Forester, the immigration policy coordinator with IJDH told Miami Herald’s Jacqueline Charles that the “criminal” inquiries are “a red herring” and may be the government’s way of trying to demonize Haitians. “The bipartisan support and merits of the argument for TPS…may mean that those who oppose any immigration at all may be grasping at straws,” he said. TPS is a special program designed to help people from countries that are temporary unable “to handle the return of its nationals adequately.” Haiti is one of the 13 countries that have been designated for TPS after the 2010 earthquake and after a series of natural disasters that ravaged the country.

Add your voice: endorse this letter, which will be sent to both President Donald Trump and Secretary John Kelly (endorse HERE). Call your representatives and senators to urge them to support TPS for Haitians. For more information on TPS extension, please visit our website.

The article is shown below in its entirety. Click HERE for the original article.

Trump administration seeking criminal history of Haitians

Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald

May 09, 2017

Haitian President Jovenel Moïse will personally ask President Donald Trump not to end a humanitarian program that has protected tens of thousands of Haitians from deportation.

“He hopes that it will be prolonged,” Wilson Laleau, Haiti’s former finance minister and Moïse’s chief of staff, told the Miami Herald on Tuesday. “He will officially ask that of the American government.”

The public plea comes amid growing fears of a new deportation push as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security acknowledged compiling evidence on the crimes committed by Haitians enrolled in the Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, program.

The unprecedented move has sparked outrage among members of Congress and Haitian immigrant advocates, and sent shivers through Central American groups that also have found shelter in the U.S. under TPS.

“If it’s canceled for the Haitians, we know that it will be canceled for Hondurans, Nicaraguans and Salvadorans,” said Francisco Portillo, president of the Miami-based Francisco Morazán Honduran Organization. He announced his advocacy group will launch its own TPS letter-writing campaign for Central Americans on Sunday.

More than 200,000 Hondurans, El Savadorans and Nicaraguans have been allowed to live and work freely in the United States ever since Hurricane Mitch barreled through Central America in 1995. While the protection expires July 22 for Haitians, it expires in January 2018 for Hondurans and Nicaraguans, and in March 2018 for Salvadorans.

The Associated Press on Tuesday published portions of internal emails from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) indicating that the agency has made inquiries into the Haitian community’s criminal history. The emails also reveal that the agency wants to know how many of the 58,000 Haitians enrolled in the Temporary Protected Status program are taking advantage of public benefits, which they are not eligible to receive.

The revelation follows the creation of a DHS-run Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) office to help victims of crimes committed by immigrants, and on the heels of a recommendation by USCIS’ acting director, James McCament, to terminate TPS for Haitians as of January.

McCament made the recommendation to DHS Secretary John Kelly in an April 10 memo obtained by the Miami Herald. Kelly has until May 23 — 60 days before the program’s expiration date — to make a decision. The AP story said that while the move is considered to be unorthodox, it suggests that Kelly might be looking at other criteria in deciding whether the United States should continue the program for Haitians.

DHS said Tuesday that Kelly has yet to make a decision, and the secretary is continuing to review reports from his staff about conditions in Haiti, including McCament’s recommendation.

But some immigration advocates believe that DHS is looking for a way to discontinue TPS, which was first granted to Haitians following their country’s devastating Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake.

“This is what happens when you staff the DHS with immigration hardliners and extremists, then put a retired general to front for the operation in an attempt to make it seem normal,” said Frank Sharry, executive director of the pro-immigration reform group America’s Voice Education Fund.
Congressional lawmakers, immigration attorneys and advocates said TPS designation should only be based on conditions in Haiti.

“Haiti continues to suffer from the effects of a catastrophic earthquake, cholera epidemic, hurricane, and food insecurity crisis that provide ample grounds for extending TPS based on extraordinary and temporary conditions,” members of the Congressional Black Caucus said Tuesday in a statement. “Reports that USCIS is collecting crime statistics to justify the denial of TPS re-designation for Haiti defies both the letter and spirit of the law, while corroding the values of our nation of immigrants.”

Flabbergasted Haitian immigrant advocates called the move “a witch hunt” and “a big show,” because Haitian nationals with criminal records do not qualify for TPS or benefits. Recipients are required to be fingerprinted, and re-checked when the status is extended, immigration attorneys say.

“It is disheartening to hear that instead of renewing TPS for these hardworking families who are at risk of losing their jobs, Secretary Kelly has decided to go on a witch hunt for criminals,” said Marleine Bastien, a leading Haitian advocate and head of the Haitian Women of Miami.

Bastien, recalling Donald Trump’s September campaign stop in Little Haiti before he became president, added: “President Trump promised to be Haitians’ best champion. It is time for him to show it.”

Jean Monestime, the first Haitian American elected to the Miami-Dade County Commission, also called on Trump to stop the investigations, which he said only serve “to send a message to the rest of the world that America is departing from its moral responsibilities.”

In the Congressional Black Caucus, Reps. Yvette Clarke, D-New York; John Conyers Jr., D-Michigan; Frederica Wilson, D-Florida; Barbara Lee, D-California; Chairman Cederic Richmond, D-Louisiana; and Utah Republican Mia Love, the first Haitian American elected to Congress, said the move was a continuation of Trump’s efforts to promote a false stereotype of the criminality of immigrants.

Citing a study by the San Franciso-based Immigrant Legal Resource Center, they noted that Haitian TPS enrollees contribute nearly $35 million annually for Social Security benefits that they cannot receive. The study used data from the U.S. Census’ American Community Survey to determine that ending TPS for the roughly 300,000 Haitians, El Savadorans and Hondurans would cost U.S. taxpayers $3.1 billion.

“The administration has cast immigrants as drug dealers, sexual predators and terrorists who are a drain on our society,” the black lawmakers said. “However, the fact is that immigrants are actually less likely to commit crimes than non-immigrants and higher immigration rates are associated with lower crime rates. Moreover, immigrants of all backgrounds contribute to our economy.”

Steven Forester, the immigration policy coordinator with the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, called the inquiries a way of trying to “demonize” Haitians, adding that “those who oppose any immigration at all may be grasping at straws.”

Randy McGrorty, an attorney and head of Catholic Legal Services, said he doesn’t believe it’s a coincidence that Kelly’s request for criminal histories was made shortly after the VOICE office was launched.

“If you have two misdemeanors, no matter how minor, or one felony, you’re not eligible for TPS so that the people in the TPS programs have relatively clean criminal records, and they have to demonstrate that every 18 months to the U.S. government,” McGrorty said.

A senior administration official said the search for criminal histories was not related to VOICE.
Tom Jawetz, vice president for immigration policy at the Center for American Progress, said sending Haitians back to a disaster-prone Haiti that is still recovering is not the right move.

“USCIS may be twisting itself into a pretzel to find a way to get to ‘no,’ but the decision lies with Secretary Kelly,” he said. “Haiti’s recovery from the 2010 earthquake and 2016 hurricane remains incomplete and very fragile and sending 50,000 people back now is shortsighted and dangerous.”

As a result of McCament’s recommendation, Haitian immigration advocates and Republican and Democratic lawmakers have stepped up their push to have the status renewed ahead of the July 22 expiration date. There have also been at least two petitions from Haitian activists asking for the program’s 18-month extension, along with letters from Republican and Democratic lawmakers and 416 faith-based leaders and organizations, and editorials in publications including the Miami Herald, The Washington Post and The New York Times.

While McCament points out in his recommendation to end TPS that Haiti had enormous problems even before the earthquake left more than 300,000 dead, 1.5 million homeless and an equal number injured, advocates note that the country hasn’t yet recovered. Additionally, Hurricane Matthew in October triggered a hunger and housing crisis in areas hit by its Category 4 winds.

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Click HERE for the original article.

5/19/17: Voyaje – Experience a Taste of Haiti [EVENT]

May 8, 2017 - 13:35

Join CHES, an organization that supports entrepreneurs in rural Haiti since 2008, in celebrating the Haitian culture and its work! Haitian Chef Stephan Berrouet Durand is coming to town to delight palettes with his unique culinary creations. Notable guests include MA Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry. There will be a chance to experience the products of exciting Haitian businesses such as Les Chocolatier Askanya and artists. Voyaje 2017: Experience a Taste of Haiti – Good food. Good people. Good work.

WHEN: Friday, May 19 7:00 PM

BRUCE BOLLING BUILDING

2300 Washington Street

Boston, MA 02119

Click HERE for more information and to RSVP.

5/10/17: Immigration Forum with Senator Dorcena Forry [EVENT]

May 8, 2017 - 13:27

Senator Linda Dorcena Forry will gather a panel of area experts to discuss current immigration issues, and how we move forward together.

WHEN: Wednesday, May 10 5:30-7:30 PM

Vietnamese American Initiative for Development (Viet-AID)

42 Charles Street, Dorchester, MA 02122

WHO: Panelists

John J. McCarthy – United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

Marjean Perhot – Refugee & Immigration Services – Catholic Charities of Boston

Wadner Oge – Immigration Attorney

Anthony Marino – Irish International Immigrant Center

An Le – Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s Office for Immigrant Advancement

William Broderick – Office of Attorney General Maura Healey

If you have questions, please call 617-722-1150

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

May 8, 2017 - 07:01

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 your voice: endorse this letter, which will be sent to both President Donald Trump and Secretary John Kelly (endorse HERE). Call your representatives and senators to urge them to support TPS for Haitians.

For more information on TPS extension, please visit our website.

Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the original article.

Will 50,000 Haitians Be Sent Home by the Trump Administration?

Brittney Fennell,  AP

MAY 8, 2017

By now, we’re all familiar with how the Trump administration feels about immigration. But soon, they’ll have to deal with another immigration issue, and no, we’re not talking about the infamous wall he wants to build on the border of Mexico and the United States.

After the devastating 2010 earthquake that ravaged Haiti and killed 300,000 people displacing more than 1.5 million, the Obama administration gave 50,000 Haitians living in the U.S. temporary protected status.

What Temporary Protected Status does is allow Haitians to stay in the U.S. until conditions in their homeland improve. This is an 18-month protective immigration designation which was renewed three times by the Obama administration. The current Temporary Protected Status will expire on July 22 and the fate of 50,000 Haitians rests in the hands of Homeland Security Secretary, John Kelly.

In April, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director, James McCament, recommended that Secretary Kelly not renew the designation because conditions in Haiti had improved. However, this past December, the USCIS’s report on the conditions of the country said they were experiencing housing shortages, a cholera epidemic, limited medical care, economic concerns, food insecurity and security threats.

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Click HERE for the original article.

James McCamenth’s Recommendation for Shortened TPS Contradicts Previous Report

May 5, 2017 - 08:02

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS)’s current 18-month designation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians, which allows over 50,000 Haitians who have been residing legally in the United States, will expire on July 22. Last December, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reported that many problems continued in Haiti, including housing shortages, a cholera epidemic, limited medical care, economic concerns, food insecurity and security threats, which made it unsuitable for Haitians to return to their earthquake-ridden country. The USCIS acting director James McCament’s recommendation that the U.S. government end TPS for thousands of Haitian nationals by next January is a departure from the agency’s previous stance. Extending TPS for those Haitians living in the U.S. in the past seven years is the right thing to do. As McCament’s predecessor, Leon Rodriguez, said, “…it usually is in the best interest of the U.S. to protect refugees.”

Add your voice: endorse this letter, which will be sent to both President Donald Trump and Secretary John Kelly (endorse HERE). Call your representatives and senators to urge them to support TPS for Haitians. For more information on TPS extension, please visit our website.

Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE to read the full article.

Haitians in U.S. Hopeful as Trump Administration Weighs Sending Them Home

Ben Remaly, NBC News

May 5, 2017

Farah Larrieux left Port-au-Prince, Haiti for Miramar, Florida years ago because she felt her homeland was “too small” for her dreams — hopes that are now in limbo as the Trump administration weighs whether to allow roughly 50,000 Haitians in the U.S. temporarily to remain.

The Trump administration must soon decide whether to renew “Temporary Protected Status” for at least 50,000 Haitians living in the U.S. The Obama administration granted the protective immigration status following the devastating earthquake in 2010 that ravaged the island-nation, killing over 300,000 and displacing more than 1.5 million.

The designation allows Haitians to remain in the U.S. until conditions in their homeland improve. Without that status, thousands of Haitians may face returning to stark-conditions in Haiti.

The 18-month protective status has been renewed three times since it was originally granted by the Obama administration in 2010. The director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services James McCament recommended in April that Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly not fully extend the designation for Haitians living in America because he said conditions have significantly improved since the earthquake.

That status is now slated to expire on July 22.

….

Click HERE to read the full article.

TPS Extension Is in Both Haitian and U.S. Interests

May 3, 2017 - 11:38

Marleine Bastien, the Executive Director of Haitian Women of Miami, discusses the importance of  extending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for over 50,000 legally residing in the U.S. In December 2016, former Secretary of State John Kerry recommended that TPS be extended for Haitians due to continued instability in their home country. However, in what seems to be a drastic departure from this prior recommendation, the acting director of USCIS, James McCament, recently opined that circumstances in Haiti have improved and have not warranted the full extension of TPS. In reality, Haiti still has many obstacles to overcome in its path to recovery from the January 2010 Earthquake, including destruction from Hurricane Matthew, a deadly cholera epidemic and growing food and housing insecurity. Haiti will be unable to support 50,000 dislocated Haitians, and communities across the U.S., including Disney World and Little Haiti, FL, would suffer from the loss of many prominent and active community members.

Click HERE for the full video and transcript.

More calls for TPS extension here.

Up to 55,000 Haitians Face Deportation If Trump Refuses to Extend Temporary Protected Status

Democracy Now!

May 3, 2017

The Haitian-American community is now facing a looming deportation deadline. Up to 55,000 Haitians could be forcefully repatriated to their fragile, struggling homeland if the Trump administration refuses to extend a temporary protected status that has allowed them to legally reside and work in the U.S. after an earthquake devastated Haiti in 2010. Haitians’ temporary protected status, or TPS, is set to expire on July 22. Immigrant rights advocates say Haiti is still reeling from Hurricane Matthew, which, in October 2016, destroyed the country’s southwest peninsula. The hurricane killed more than 1,000 people and decimated villages and farmland. Haiti is also suffering from a devastating cholera epidemic that erupted after the earthquake. For more, we speak with Marleine Bastien, executive director of Haitian Women of Miami.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re broadcasting from Tampa, Florida. The Sunshine State, particularly southern Florida, is home to a very large, vibrant Haitian population, with many living in the Miami neighborhood of Little Haiti. Well, the Haitian-American community is now facing a looming deportation deadline. Up to 55,000 Haitians could be forcefully repatriated to their fragile, struggling homeland if the Trump administration refuses to extend a temporary protected status that’s allowed them to legally reside and work in the U.S. after an earthquake devastated Haiti in 2010. Haitians’ temporary protected status, known as TPS, is set to expire July 22nd.

Click HERE for the full video and transcript.

Cholera Justice Network Accepts HSNNE Award

May 1, 2017 - 11:15

IJDH Executive Director Brian Concannon and Staff Attorney Beatrice Lindstrom accept the Zanmi Ayiti Award, which was awarded to the Cholera Justice Network in recognition of their participation in the successful campaign against impunity and their support for justice for the victims of cholera in Haiti.

IJDH and BAI have demonstrated years of commitment to pursuing legal remedies for cholera victims, advocating for Haitians’ rights, mobilizing individuals, and putting pressure on the United Nations to admit their responsibility and take action. Six years after a contingent United Nations (UN) peacekeepers from Nepal introduced cholera into Haiti and created a deadly epidemic by contaminating the country’s water supply, then Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon admitted their role and announced a New Approach to prevent further infections and give reparations to victims.

Over 10,000 Haitians have died from cholera, and thousands have been battling the deadly disease. Since the UN’s apology, IJDH and BAI have continued to press UN to assist in eradicating cholera in the country. The organizations will continue to accompany the victims until the UN’s promises are met and cholera is no longer a threat for the Haitian population.

 

The New York Times: Extend America’s Welcome to Haitians Again

May 1, 2017 - 08:01

In less than three months, 50, 000 Haitian nationals could be deported to their native Haiti if the Trump administration doesn’t take action to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for them. The New York Times continues to join the many voices to urge Department of Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly to extend TPS for those Haitians who have been living in the U.S. legally for the past seven years. The newspaper also criticizes the USCIS Director James McCament for his recommendation that the U.S. end the TPS for Haitians. The New York Times Editorial Board wrote that sending thousands of Haitians back to Haiti could worsen an already “desperate situation” in Haiti. They added, Secretary Kelly “should extend America’s welcome to the Haitians once again” instead.

The editorial is shown below in its entirety. Click HERE for the original article.

More calls for TPS extension here.

Don’t Send 50,000 Back to Fragile Haiti

Editorial Board, New York Times

April 29, 2017

Tens of thousands of Haitians living in the United States are facing an ominous deadline. The temporary protected status that has allowed them to live and work here legally since 2010 — the year an earthquake devastated their country and left them unable to return safely home — is set to expire on July 22. Unless the homeland security secretary, John Kelly, decides to renew it, about 50,000 Haitians will lose their welcome here and be vulnerable to deportation.

A reasonable person might say: The United States couldn’t do that. Haiti has made only a fitful recovery from the quake, which all but destroyed the national government and left hundreds of thousands homeless, and ensuing disasters have deepened the country’s misery. Hurricane Matthew in October 2016 ravaged Haiti’s southwest peninsula, killing more than a thousand people and laying waste to villages and farmland. A cholera epidemic that erupted after the earthquake has not been subdued.

These acute crises, laid atop chronic poverty and political turmoil, make Haiti a fragile place. The sudden return of tens of thousands of expatriates would be yet another damaging blow. Better those Haitians remain in the United States, where they can be safe and work and send money home, and not further burden their traumatized homeland.

That is a reasonable conclusion. But not everyone in the Trump administration recognizes it. The acting head of Citizenship and Immigration Services, James McCament, wrote to Mr. Kelly this month recommending that temporary protected status be ended next January.

“Although Hurricane Matthew recently caused a deterioration of conditions in Haiti’s southwest peninsula,” he wrote, “over all, circumstances in the country have continued on an upward trajectory since the 2010 earthquake.”

Give that man a prize for bureaucratic understatement: “Deterioration of conditions” is a brutally antiseptic way to describe a Category 4 hurricane that left so much death, sickness and hunger in its wake. In fairness, Mr. McCament’s memo does acknowledge many of the other afflictions that would argue for temporary protected status, including homelessness, gender-based violence, food insecurity, deep deficiencies in sanitation and health care, and a weak government.

And yet it reached the wrong conclusion. Only in December, in President Barack Obama’s administration, the State Department examined the same circumstances and recommended that the Haitians be allowed to remain.

Temporary protected status is where United States law joins practicality and humanitarian compassion. Mr. Kelly may make his decision by May 23, 60 days before the expiration date. Before he decides to send them back — and, given the Trump administration’s coldblooded approach to destitute migrants the world over, who knows what he will do? — we hope he considers what advantage there could possibly be in sowing greater instability in Haiti, deepening its poverty and subjecting so many people to such pointless cruelty. Rather than make a desperate situation intolerably worse, he should extend America’s welcome to the Haitians once again.

____

Click HERE for the original article.

Thousands of Haitians Are Living under Fear As the Deadline for TPS Extension Looms

May 1, 2017 - 07:29

More than 50,000 Haitians could possibly be sent back to a country still recovering from a series of natural disasters. Lawmakers from both parties, U.S. newspapers and human rights and faith-based organizations are calling on President Donald Trump to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for those Haitian nationals who have been living legally in the United States for the past seven years. According to reports the Department of Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly is expected to make a final decision regarding the TPS extension in the next coming two weeks. We encourage you to call your representatives and senators and tell them to support TPS extension for Haitians. Contrary to the USCIS acting director U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services James McCament stated in his report, things have not improved enough in Haiti for the U.S. to end TPS for Haitians.  That is why lawmakers, media, human rights and faith groups asking President Trump to show compassion by extending “America’s welcome once again to Haitians.”

You can read the full article HERE.

50,000 Haitians face being deported by Trump back to country still reeling from natural disasters

By Andrew Buncombe, Independent

May 1, 2017

The proposal has been criticised by Democrats and Republicans alike


More than 1,000 people were killed when Hurricane Matthew struck last October AP

More than 50,000 Haitians are at risk of being deported to a country still reeling from a series of natural disasters, after Donald Trump’s immigration agency recommended ending their temporary right to live in the US.

Up to 55,000 Haitians are living in America under so-called temporary protected status (TPS), initially granted to them after the 2010 earthquake, that killed an estimated 150,000 people.

The status has been updated every 18 months, as Haiti has confronted the challenges of a cholera epidemic triggered by UN peacekeepers, a sexual abuse scandal involving those peacekeepers and political uncertainty following the postponing of elections that eventually saw Jovenel Moïse become president.

But James McCament, acting director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services, has recommended Mr Trump end their starus. He said there should be a temporary, six-month extension to allow a period of “orderly transition” but that people should then return.

The revelation, first reported by the Miami Herald, has triggered intense concern among the Haitian community in the US, and their supporters.

“Anxiety is extremely high. They are calling me and asking me what they should do,” Emmanuel Depas, a former president of the Haitian American Lawyers Association of New York, told The Independent.

“The temporary status is not necessarily a path to a green card, but it gives people the right to work here.”

Campaigners said the threat of deportation could result in the splitting up of families, if the parents of children born in the US were forced to leave. Others have questioned whether Haiti, where more than 1,000 people were killed last October by Hurricane Matthew, the most powerful storm to make landfall there since 1964, is able to handle the return of so many people.

You can read the full article HERE.

What Happened at the Border: Analyzing Previous Interactions with Immigration Authorities and the Impact on Future Relief

April 30, 2017 - 21:35

The Immigration Advocates Network (IAN) invites you to a free webinar. The panelists will discuss the consequences of prior orders by the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration Judges; and, immigration or criminal enforcement in illegal entry/reentry. They will identify key questions to ask clients, and review common scenarios to help you understand the law.

WHEN:

Thursday, May 4, 2017

2:00 pm Eastern / 1:00 pm Central / 12:00 pm Mountain / 11:00 am Pacific

WHO:

The panelists are Jodi Goodwin, Law Office of Jodi Goodwin; Michelle Saenz-Rodriguez, Saenz-Rodriguez and Associates; and, Erica Schommer, Clinical Assistant Professor of Law, Immigration and Human Rights Clinic, St. Mary’s University School of Law.

The moderator is Meredith Linsky, Director, Commission on Immigration, American Bar Association.

To register, visit https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2393066549197438210. Your registration will generate a confirmation email with information on how to join the webinar.

If you have questions, please email us at support@immigrationadvocates.org.

50,000 Face Uncertain Futures in the US & Haiti as TPS Deadline Approaches

April 29, 2017 - 10:45

As Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for thousands of Haitians approaches its deadline for extension, fear and uncertainty have become daily realities for 50,000 Haitians legally residing in the U.S. TPS expiration would significantly affect communities both within the U.S. and in Haiti, where friends and families depend on remittances sent back from the U.S. As the New York Times stated, sending thousands of Haitian nationals back to Haiti could also worsen the already “desperate situation” in the country. Additionally, Haiti is still recovering from a recent hurricane that ruined the southern part of the country, a cholera outbreak and the devastating 2010 earthquake. The current situation in the country is still precarious. That is why U.S. lawmakers from both parties, newspapers and U.S. citizens continue to urge  the Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to extend TPS for Haitians who have been living in the U.S. for the past seven years.

Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the original article.

More calls for TPS extension here.

Will the US try to send 50,000 people back to Haiti?

Joseph Stepansky, Al Jazeera

April 29, 2017

Brooklyn, New York – When Jean, a 28-year-old Haitian living in Florida, first came to the US, he was afraid to live in a high-rise building.

It was residual fear, he said, from the 2010 earthquake he survived in Port-au-Prince.

“I had just finished rehearsal, singing and dancing, because I’m an opera singer, and then it happened,” said Jean, who did not want to disclose his last name.

“At the time, I was in an old wooden house and half of it went down … It was so traumatising, I couldn’t even cry right away. Everything went white.”

After a day-long walk through the urban wreckage, around bodies and anguished fellow citizens, Jean finally reached his house and reunited with his sister.

“My mom was in the US, but wasn’t established yet. My sister and I went to Santo Domingo. We slept in the airport before we finally got a flight,” he said.

Click HERE for the full article.