For Immediate Release
- CHICAGO—November 20, 2017—The Department of Homeland Security’s decision to cancel Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 50,000 Haitians just days before Thanksgiving is a shameful new low for an administration that has given clear priority to fear-mongering over facts—the nation’s economic interests, humanitarian responsibilities, and stake in regional stability—in setting its immigration policies.TPS was originally granted to Haitians in 2010, following a devastating earthquake that cost the country 120 percent of its GDP, destroying 300,000 buildings in Port-au-Prince alone. The US government rightly deemed that it was unsafe for Haitians in the United States to return to their country at that time, granting them TPS until conditions improved.Seven years later, even immigration hardliners must concede that the country remains unstable at best. Some 60,000 survivors of the 2010 earthquake are still homeless in 2017. A recent cholera outbreak has killed 9,500 Haitians and made another 900,000 gravely ill. And October’s Hurricane Matthew hit the country hard, leaving 1.2 million Haitians without drinking water.Sending long-time residents—fully vetted immigrants who have followed the rules—back to these dangerous conditions goes against our values as a nation. This senseless act also defies our country’s economic and business interests. TPS holders make outsized contributions to our economy: 88 percent participate in the labor force, 11 percent have built businesses, and 30 percent have mortgages.The Department of Homeland Security’s unconscionable decision on Haiti follows its disappointing November 6 announcement that cancelled TPS for 2,500 Nicaraguans and left another 60,000 Hondurans in limbo around their status. TPS for 200,000 Salvadorans is also vulnerable to cancellation in January.The decision ignores calls from a variety of stakeholders—from the US Chamber of Commerce, the American Hotel and Lodging Association, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, numerous faith leaders, and a growing list of municipal governments—for DHS to extend TPS programs. The decision also runs contrary to the work of numerous Haitian-American and other US immigrant groups who have led an incredible effort to raise public awareness about the issue.
Reports suggest that DHS leadership is being strong-armed by Trump’s cabinet to put politics over policy in deciding the fate of 300,000 people. Short any unbiased leadership from the administration, Alianza Americas, representing 50 immigrant-led organizations and 100,000 families across the United States, calls on Congress to find the political will to do what is right and formalize what these individuals are: Permanent residents of the US. There are multiple bills, many with bipartisan support, that have been introduced in Congress.
Additional Information & Interviews:
- Oscar Chacón, executive director of Alianza Americas, is available for interviews on the transnational social, economic and political implications of ending TPS programs.
- Leaders from Haitian Women of Miami (FANM) and Haitian Americans United for Progress (HAUP), Alianza Americas member organizations, are available for interview about the effects of the announcement on the Haitian community
- Immigrant leaders in Boston, MA, Houston, TX, Miami, FL, Morristown, NJ, New York City, NY, Los Angeles, CA, San Francisco, CA, Washington, DC are available to speak about their organization’s’ actions being coordinated to respond to this announcement.
- TPS holders from Haiti, Honduras and El Salvador are available for comment about how this announcement will affect their lives.