STATEMENT – USCRI Denounces Decision to End Humanitarian Program for Haitians
For Immediate Release:
November 20, 2017
ARLINGTON, VA –
The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) denounces the decision by the Trump Administration to terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians. We urge Congress to take immediate action to protect Haitian and other TPS beneficiaries who have worked, paid taxes, opened businesses and acted as contributing members of our communities for years.
The 2010 earthquake that struck Haiti was catastrophic, devastating the economy and infrastructure of the poorest country in the Western hemisphere. According U.N. experts, the earthquake killed two to three hundred thousand people and displaced another 1.5 million. “I witnessed firsthand the generosity of the American people during my tenure at the Department of Health and Human Services as we provided services to over 28,000 individuals and 700 unaccompanied Haitian orphans evacuated from Haiti during the aftermath of the January earthquake,” said Eskinder Negash, Acting Chief Executive Officer.
A cholera epidemic, and new political instability have hindered the Haitian government’s ability to meet the basic needs of its people, resolve longstanding human rights problems, or address continuing humanitarian crises and leave Haiti unable to absorb 50,000 people being deported from the US. “While Haiti strives to recover from this devastation, ending TPS at this time will be an erosion of American moral leadership and another blow to the people of Haiti,” said Mr. Negash.
USCRI recommends immediate action by Congress to resolve the question of TPS holders and enable them to transition to permanent status and a clear pathway to safety and citizenship. Individuals holding Temporary Protected Status are thoroughly vetted at least every 18 months, work and pay taxes and pay fees for every TPS renewal.
For over 100 years, USCRI has protected the rights and addressed the needs of persons in forced or voluntary migration worldwide and supported their transition to a dignified life.