By Wadner Pierre
Congressional Black Caucus joined a growing chorus urging the Trump administration to renew Temporary Protected Status (TPS). In their letter, the lawmakers urge the Department of Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly “to extend the existing Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Haiti by 18 months and to include all Haitians present in the United States prior to November 4, 2016, in a new TPS designation.”
Extending TPS for Haitians who have been living in the United States for the past seven years has received bi-partisan support in the U.S. Congress. Lawmakers from both parties wrote Secretaries John Kelly and Rex Tillerson urging both of them to renew TPS for Haitian nationals. Additionally, several U.S. newspapers call on President Trump to show compassion for Haitians by extending “America’s welcome” to them once again.
Over 400 Faith Leaders and faith-based organizations sent a letter to Secretary Kelly imploring him to not allow TPS extension expire for thousands of Haitians. They wrote, “To allow TPS for Haiti to expire would mean turning our backs on the vulnerable Haitians whom we pledged to welcome, and would place considerable burdens on the country as it struggles to recover from multiple natural disasters.”
The USCIS acting director James McCament in an assessment regarding the overall conditions in Haiti stated that “things have improved enough in Haiti” and recommended that the U.S. end TPS for Haitians. However, reports from the ground of Haiti have contradicted McCament’s claim.
Partner In Health’s co-founder Dr. Paul Farmer in the ground of Haiti told NPR’s Greg Allen that thousands of Haitians are still living in tents or makeshifts shelters seven years after an earthquake ravaged the country, and the cholera epidemic is still not under control. Dr. Farmer said, “It’s hard to say amelioration is the right road,” and added, “patchy improvement” would be the right one to describe the living conditions in Haiti.