Brooklyn, N.Y. – Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement on the decision by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitian nationals living in the United States by only six months, to January 22, 2018.
“I am deeply disappointed by the refusal of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to provide a full, eighteen-month extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitian nationals living in the United States. A bipartisan coalition in Congress, as well as human rights activists and prominent members of the international community, had assembled in support of a full extension. The situation in Haiti remains precarious. The recovery from the earthquake in 2010 has been severely threatened and hampered by an outbreak of cholera and the massive destruction of Hurricane Matthew, the most devastating storm to reach Haiti in half a century. TPS has provided invaluable support for the recovery, allowing Haitian nationals here to send remittances to their relatives. These remittances are vital to the recovery and equal Haiti’s entire annual governmental budget. In addition, forcing 50,000 people to return to Haiti would impose enormous burdens on the meager social services available and fractured infrastructure that remains unstable. I remain concerned by recent inaccurate, unwarranted and unsubstantiated characterizations of Haitian nationals by the Trump administration – this decision was based on factors other than conditions in Haiti, the only factor that should legally have been considered. I strongly urge DHS to reconsider this ill-advised decision and to work with the government of Haiti to develop a plan that will meaningfully contribute to the recovery.”