BAJI Denounces DHS’ Inhumane Decision to Terminate Program for Haitian Earthquake Survivors

Washington, DC – The Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) denounces the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) inhumane decision to terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nearly 60,000 Haitian immigrants who are undoubtedly rooted in the United States.

This evening DHS announced that it would terminate TPS for Haitian nationals effective July 22, 2019. TPS was first granted to Haitian immigrants in 2010 following a 7.0 magnitude earthquake that devastated the island, killing 230,000 residents and displacing nearly 3 million. Conditions on the island were exacerbated by a cholera outbreak caused by United Nations officers and more recently, a category 5 hurricane. But despite bipartisan calls to renew the program from prominent lawmakers such as Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Representative Mia Love (R-UT), the administration determined that conditions in Haiti had improved such that TPS beneficiaries could return to the country.

“DHS refuses to acknowledge the compounded impact of several environmental disasters along with an ongoing cholera epidemic on the recovery process in Haiti. In the midst of rebuilding and revitalizing its overall infrastructure, large influxes of nationals will disrupt and negatively impact the nation’s path towards recovery,” says Opal Tometi, BAJI’s executive director and co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Global Network. “On the eve of Thanksgiving the Administration has decided to contravene basic humanitarianism in favor of an immigration agenda that is drenched in racism, nativism, and xenophobia.”

In the weeks preceding today’s decision on Haitian TPS, several bills seeking to provide relief for TPS beneficiaries were introduced in Congress. BAJI calls on Congress to step in immediately and enact legislation that provides a humane, holistic solution for Haitians and other TPS holders. DHS to extend TPS for Salvadorans and all other TPS holders.

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