Sen. Bill Nelson calls on DHS to Extend TPS for Haitians

MIAMI – Sens. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) today led a group of Florida lawmakers urging Dept. of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Elaine Duke to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians living in the United States for a full 18 months.

U.S. Sens. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) calls on DHS to Extend TPS for Haitians

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Marco Rubio (R-FL)

In addition to Sens. Nelson and Rubio, the letter was signed by Reps. Ted Deutch (D-FL), Mario Diaz Balart (R-FL), Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), Lois Frankel (D-FL), Alcee Hastings (D-FL), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Frederica Wilson (D-FL).

Following is text of the lawmakers’ letter sent to DHS Acting Secretary Elaine Duke

November 17, 2017

The Honorable Elaine C. Duke

Acting Secretary of Homeland Security

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

3801 Nebraska Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20528

 

Dear Acting Secretary Duke:

We write again to urge you to extend for a full 18 months Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians currently living in the United States. We appreciated the opportunity to meet with you and discuss the need for an extension. As you prepare to make a determination on extension, we encourage you to consider the full range of factors permitted under the law.

The need for a full extension is clear. Haiti—the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere—continues to recover from the devastating 2010 earthquake which killed more than 200,000 people and displaced more than a million. To this day, Haiti struggles to combat an outbreak of cholera introduced by United Nations relief workers following the earthquake that has already killed more than 10,000 people.

The extensive damage caused by Hurricane Matthew in 2016 only made Haiti’s recovery more difficult. For example, Matthew, a major hurricane, destroyed much of Haiti’s food crops, leaving millions of Haitians food insecure, according to some estimates. We believe that these persistent, difficult conditions in Haiti warrant a full extension, and that the law allows you to consider these factors among others in making a determination.

Furthermore, the Government of Haiti has requested an extension as it works to fully recover and rebuild for the benefit of all its people. We owe it to the Haitian people to assist them in their efforts, especially as they begin to make limited progress. Haiti simply cannot absorb the premature return of 60,000 people at once.

We share your concern for the welfare of the Haitian people. They are valuable members of our communities and families. Thank you for your consideration of this important matter.

Sincerely,

Sens. Bill Nelson (D-FL), Marco Rubio (R-FL) Reps. Ted Deutch (D-FL), Mario Diaz Balart (R-FL), Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), Lois Frankel (D-FL), Alcee Hastings (D-FL), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Frederica Wilson (D-FL)

 

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