Nelson calls for extension of TPS for Haitians beyond January deadline

U.S. Senator Bill Nelson calls for extension of TPS for Haitians beyond January deadline

Senator Bill Nelson

WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) today called on the administration to extend Temporary Protected Status ( TPS )for the nearly 60,000 Haitians living in the U.S. until at least July 2019.

In a letter he sent to Acting Secretary of Homeland of Security Elaine Duke, Nelson requested that TPS for the tens of thousands of Haitians living in the U.S. be extended for a full 18 months beyond the current expiration date of Jan. 22, 2018.

“Given Haiti’s continued recovery from the 2010 earthquake and last fall’s Category 4 hurricane, I strongly urge you to grant a full, 18-month extension of Temporary Protected Status for the roughly 60,000 Haitian nationals living here in the U.S.,” Nelson wrote.

“Hurricane Matthew has significantly set back Haiti’s ongoing recovery efforts,” Nelson added. “As you consider this request to extend TPS beyond its current expiration date of January 22, I encourage you to visit Haiti to assess the conditions on the ground there for yourself. I also encourage you to meet with Haitian leaders in Florida to discuss the importance of extending protections for those already living here.”

It’s not the first time the Florida Democrat has weighed in on the issue. Nelson sent a similar letter to then-Sec. John Kelly in May calling for a full, 18 month extension.

Later that month, however, Kelly announced that DHS had granted only a six month extension – instead of the full 18 – meaning the nearly 60,000 Haitian nationals who have been living in the U.S. since 2011 may soon be forced to return to their homeland.

With Sec. Kelly now in the White House, Nelson is asking the agency’s new acting secretary to extend TPS beyond the current Jan. 22 deadline.

Nelson argues the U.S. should be focused on helping the island nation recover from two devastating natural disasters, instead of sending people home to a country that can’t support them.

Nelson will be in Miami Friday to meet with a group Haitian American community leaders to discuss the issue and how it’s affecting the community beginning at 10:15 a.m. at the Little Haiti Cultural Center located at 212 NE 59th Terrace.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson’s letter to Acting Secretary of Homeland of Security Elaine Duke

I write regarding Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitian nationals. Given Haiti’s continued recovery from the 2010 earthquake and last fall’s Category 4 hurricane, I strongly urge you to grant a full, 18-month extension of Temporary Protected Status for the roughly 60,000 Haitian nationals living here in the U.S.

The 2010 earthquake killed more than 200,000 people, displaced another one million, and ultimately led to a cholera epidemic that devastated the island. Last October, Hurricane Matthew’s destruction compounded these problems and created new ones, killing more than 1,000 people, devastating Haiti’s infrastructure and agricultural system, and leaving many Haitians without a secure supply of food or shelter. As Secretary Kelly himself noted earlier this year, “significant losses of crops and livestock in the regions damaged by Hurricane Matthew impacted the entire country.”

Hurricane Matthew has significantly set back Haiti’s ongoing recovery efforts, and I strongly urge you to fully consider these conditions in extending TPS for another 18 months.

Then-Secretary Kelly and I have worked together closely on this issue, and I look forward to doing the same with you. As you consider this request to extend TPS beyond its current expiration date of January 22, I encourage you to visit Haiti to assess the conditions on the ground there for yourself. I also encourage you to meet with Haitian leaders in Florida to discuss the importance of extending protections for those already living here and the impact it has on the community.

The new Government of Haiti is in the process of implementing an economic growth plan so Haiti can better serve its people at home and those living abroad. I know that you share hopes for a stable and prosperous Haiti, and I look forward to working with you to achieve these goals.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

 

Posted in: Politics
  • Archives:

  • Categories:

  • Tags: