A recording of today’s call is available here.
On a press call tonight, experts and advocates, including representatives of the business community, the Haitian community and TPS holders, condemned the Trump Administration’s unprincipled decision to end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 50,000 Haitians.
Royce Murray, Policy Director, American Immigration Council, said:
The decision to terminate TPS for Haiti is a tragic decision on many levels. Haiti needs more time to recover from the catastrophic earthquake, cholera epidemic, hurricanes, and other challenges without worrying about 50,000 Haitians at risk of being deported there. But communities and employers in the U.S. will be hurt by this decision too, as these Haitians lose their ability to work and support their families all too soon.
Peterson Exais, Haitian TPS holder and high school junior living in Miami, said:
I am one of the many people who will be affected by this decision. I was lucky for the help we received from America, and, because of this help, I am here today. But, Haiti is still not a safe place for my family to be. Before we left Haiti, we were threatened, bullied, and forced from our home. My eight siblings are still in Haiti. They call me upset about how they can’t go to school, because it is so often shut down. Because of TPS, I am currently getting my education, and it means the world to me. Knowledge is the key to power, and I would not be able to receive education back in Haiti. I am truly, truly happy that I got to come here and build a life for myself. I call on Congress to please act wisely and consider the many families affected.
Jocelyn McCalla, Advocacy Coordinator, Haitian Americans United for Progress (HUAP) and also representing Alianzas Americas, said:
Look at the evidence: Haiti is not ready. Haitian TPS recipients are deep-rooted in our communities and integral parts of our daily lives —in the service industry, the hospitality industry, and healthcare. They have made the United States their home, and they should be allowed to pursue their dreams. We hope that these next 18 months will provide us with an opportunity to convince Congress to work towards a permanent solution.
Reverend Noel Andersen, National Grassroots Coordinator, Church World Service, said:
No matter the faith tradition, we are told to love our neighbors. When communities are in need, we have a moral obligation to respond with compassion and kindness. This is the third TPS termination in three months and a cruel political maneuver to fulfill campaign promises. The Administration’s decision to push Haitians into its deportation machine is morally wrong. This mass deportation will devastate an already fragile country, the 27,000 U.S. citizen children of TPS recipients, and hundreds of thousands of U.S. families. Families will be torn apart; parents will be ripped from their children; our communities will be destroyed. For these reasons, we are calling on the Administration to reverse this ill-advised decision and extend TPS for Haitians. We are also calling on Congress to enact a permanent solution. If necessary, as a member of the national sanctuary movement, we are ready with open doors to offer refuge from these evil and unjust policies.
Frank Sharry, Founder and Executive Director, America’s Voice Education Fund, said:
This is a cruel decision, and a stupid decision. It’s cruel to the tens of thousands of Haitians who work in critical industries, care for U.S. citizen children and contribute so much to the country that has welcomed them. It’s a stupid decision because if 50,000 Haitians are forced to return to Haiti in 18 months, it would further destabilize a nation wracked by natural disasters and epidemics, leading to political instability and more unauthorized migration. The Trump Administration is taking a wrecking ball to the Statue of Liberty and creating deeper problems for nations in its own neighborhood. Given this cruel and stupid decision, it is imperative that Congress step up and step in to address the growing crisis of TPS holders in the U.S., a crisis caused by an Administration determined to drive deeply rooted immigrants out of the country they now call home.