Brooklyn, N.Y. – Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09) released the following statement on her request with the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) that Secretary John Kelly of the Department of Homeland Security extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitian nationals who were in the United States prior to November 4, 2016. Haiti was added to the list of TPS-designated countries on January 21, 2010, after an earthquake killed 300,000 people and displaced another 1.5 million people. TPS has been extended three times since then for eighteen months each.
“The earthquake in 2010 disrupted the function of civil society in Haiti, killing more than 300,000 people, displacing families from their homes, closing schools and social service agencies, creating instability in government, and undermining the economy. The people of Haiti have demonstrated extraordinary resolve in their efforts to rebuild, despite serious hardships such as Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and outbreaks of cholera. Their efforts have been supported by Haitian nationals here in the United States who are working hard and sending money to family members and friends. These remittances are critical to the recovery, and have provided not only for basic needs, but have also supported education, agricultural restoration, business development, and home reconstruction. I call on Secretary Kelly to follow in the proud tradition established by his predecessors of continuing to allow Haitian nationals to contribute to their nation’s future.”
“Allowing Haitian nationals in this country to remain here longer puts them and their families in a better position to help Haiti rebuild and recover from devastating natural disasters,” said CBC Chair Congressman Cedric Richmond. “The 2010 earthquake and the cholera outbreak and hurricane that followed hurt a country that was already hurting and now is not the time to add salt to the wound.”
Congresswoman Clarke’s request was joined by joined by the entire CBC. She has also introduced H.R. 1014, the Haiti Emergency Relief Act of 2017, which would provide TPS for Haitian nationals who have been in the United States since before November 4, 2016.