Brooklyn, N.Y. – Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement on the Haiti Emergency Relief Act of 2017, a bill she introduced which would dramatically expand the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program to include all Haitian nationals who were in the United States prior to November 4, 2016. The bill would grant eighteen months of TPS to every eligible individual.
“Temporary Protect Status for Haitian nationals living in the United States was established after the devastating earthquake in 2010 to allow Haiti to start the process of recovery and to provide invaluable support in the form of remittances to family members there. The program was created – and extended – based on need. 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 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, the Haiti Emergency Relief Act of 2017 would allow Haitian nationals to maintain their remittances, which amount to about twenty-five percent 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.”