FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Immediate Immigration Relief For Haitians Needed
Immediate Immigration Relief For Haitians:
cease deportations, resume Humanitarian Paroles,
widen HFRP and extend TPS.
Haiti was severely hit by hurricane Matthew. Its destructive power devastated communities that were still reeling from previous natural disasters, a cholera epidemic, and from the effects of a severe and prolonged political crisis. Haitian authorities are still unable to present a clear account of the death toll and destruction from the hurricane in this already fragile nation.
On September 22, 2016, the Obama administration announced that it was fully resuming the deportation of Haitians, which it was conducting on a limited basis since 2011. It argued that the situation had improved sufficiently and that removals would be reinstated on a regular basis.
In line with this shift, policy regarding Haitian nationals at the US borders and ports of entry also changed. The opportunity to be allowed to enter through a temporary humanitarian parole ended, effectively stranding many Haitian migrants en route, and putting others into deportation proceedings.
On October 12, 2016, the Obama administration indicated that “removal flights have been suspended temporarily.” Department of Homeland Secretary, Jeh Johnson, went on to say, “working with the government of Haiti, DHS intends to resume those flights as soon as possible. This should be clear: the policy change I announced on September 22 remains in effect, for now and in the future.”
Alianza Americas’ Executive Director, Oscar Chacon, issued the following statement:
In light of the destruction toll that Haiti has suffered, Alianza America calls once again on the Obama administration to revise its immigration policies in regards to Haiti, and take the following immediate actions:
· cease all removals of Haitians at this time and reinstate the possibility for Haitian nationals to be paroled into the US for humanitarian reasons.
· continue the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program and widen the family ties that allow Haitians living in the US to submit a petition on behalf of their relatives.
· continue to extend the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians, which has been extended until July 22, 2017
Haiti and its people need the support of other States to try, once more, to recover from a natural disaster. The US is in a privileged position to offer assistance through small, but meaningful administrative actions. We urge the government to take immediate action on this matter, and to set the example with a humanitarian immigration policy for the Haitian people.