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Ahead of SOTU, Haitian Community Activist Marleine Bastien Calls on Congress to Reject Anti-Immigrant White House Framework

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Miami, FL – Marleine Bastien, executive director of Famn Ayisien Nan Miami (Haitian Women of Miami, FANM) issued the following statement as Congress prepares to hear President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address, during which he is expected to discuss immigration. Last week, the White House unveiled a hard-line immigration framework, threatening to unravel the system that keeps families together through immigration proceedings. The proposal also omits protections for the 300,000 people covered by Temporary Protected Status (TPS), including the more than 50,000 Haitian nationals whose TPS benefits were canceled by the White House in November.

As members of Congress prepare to hear President Trump’s immigration policies, we call on them to reject this framework authored by the White House’s anti-immigrant staff. The framework is un-American and unjust to Dreamers, as it attempts to force them to choose between themselves and other immigrants, including their parents. After canceling TPS in November, the Trump administration’s proposal now leaves our community without a permanent solution to the limbo we are living in. The administration created this crisis and now they refuse to fix it, threatening these families with separation.

This framework is a thinly veiled attempt to re-engineer the current family-based immigration system. Make no mistake – this administration’s only goal is to close legal immigration to people of color and leave it open only to those from ‘Norway,’ as the president articulated when he insulted Haitians and other immigrants.

After they hear the policies from Trump, Congress should reject this proposal aimed only at separating families, unraveling our nation’s ethnic makeup, and worsening the national tragedy caused by the administration’s cancellation of TPS.