For Immediate Release
November 20, 2017
Washington, DC - The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has officially announced the termination of Temporary Protected Status for the over 50,000 Haitians currently with this legal protection.
The Department of Homeland Security is operating in exact opposition to reports on the current country conditions for Haiti, all indicating that these nationals need this protection. The facts speak for themselves. The country is still reeling from natural disasters as recent as Hurricanes Irma and Maria this summer, Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and the earthquake in 2010 leaving over 300,000 without proper shelter. Cholera is still rampant and there is a new outbreak of diphtheria on the island which has sickened over 800,000. Maintaining the humanitarian status is an issue of public health and basic human decency.
“I am disappointed but I am not surprised. You cannot surprised when a system not designed for you fails you. I live in America, I live as a Black female undocumented immigrant. Those are just many ways I was not designed to succeed. But I’m just going to have to succeed in spite of all of those factors.” Lys Isma, TPS holder, student at Florida International University, member of UndocuBlack Network.
Haitians like Lys and her family work, study and live in the United States. They have built homes, engaged with their communities as health care providers, construction, hospitality workers and range from the youth to the elderly. It is important that all allies raise TPS as an issue under threat as time is already running out for Sudanese and Nicaraguan nationals, who will see an end to their protections in 2018 and 2019. We anticipate the next decision in January for over 200,000 nationals with TPS from El Salvador and we cannot allow more individuals to be stripped of legal status.
There are several bills that provide a permanent solution for TPS holders across this country including the Secure Act by Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) . The Secure Act is the product of a large effort of several unions: IUPAT, UNITE HERE, UFCW, BAC, IWC and several organizations including CARECEN - LA and UndocuBlack Network , to draft the bill. Last week, Senators Van Hollen and Cardin, stood along with MomsRising, SEIU, Herd on the Hill, Mormon Women for Ethical Governance, UndocuBlack, CASA, and Allies to announce the introduction of the bill that would provide a residency status for all current TPS holders.
The DREAM Act as it is carefully crafted, would also allow thousands of immigrant youth failed by TPS to work and thrive fully. It is up to congress to do their jobs and act now before the end of the year.
A word to elected representatives and other officials - quit playing politics with the lives of people.