“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.,” US Democrat, Senator Bill Nelson wrote in a letter to Elaine Duke, the Acting Secretary of Homeland of Security.
“Hurricane Matthew has significantly set back Haiti’s ongoing recovery efforts. 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,” he wrote.
Earlier this year, John F. Kelly, the then Secretary of Homeland Security announced his decision to extend—for an additional six months, the TPS designation for Haiti.
“After careful review of the current conditions in Haiti and conversations with the Haitian government, I have decided to extend the designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status for a limited period of six-months,” said Kelly.
“Haiti has made progress across several fronts since the devastating earthquake in 2010, and I’m proud of the role the United States has played during this time in helping our Haitian friends. The Haitian economy continues to recover and grow, and 96 per cent of people displaced by the earthquake and living in internally displaced person camps have left those camps. Even more encouraging is that over 98 per cent of these camps have closed,” he added.
This is not the first time the Florida Democrat has weighed in on the issue. Nelson sent a similar letter to Kelly in May calling for a full, 18 month extension.
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.
- Countries: Haiti