HAITI | New York Rep Yvette Clarke proposes TPS Status for Haitians in the US

HAITI | New York Rep Yvette Clarke proposes TPS Status for Haitians in the US

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 1, 2024 - In a significant move aimed at addressing the dire humanitarian and political crisis in Haiti, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, alongside Haiti Caucus Co-Chairs Ayanna Pressley and Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, wants  immediate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians.

In a letter to Secretary of State Blinken and Secretary of Homeland Security Mayorkas  the group which includes 67 members of congress, are urging the Biden Administration to immediately redesignate Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and to suspend deportations to the country amidst its ongoing turmoil. 

This collective action underscores a powerful message of solidarity and urgency, backed by  the nearly 70 Members of Congress and more than 400 advocacy organizations, signaling a strong push to protect Haitian nationals residing in the United States until their homeland stabilizes.

The letter to Blinken and Alejandro Mayorkas, articulates a clear and compelling rationale for the proposed measures. Haiti, grappling with escalating gang violence, political instability, and human rights abuses, stands at a critical juncture. 

The resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry, precipitated by immense public pressure, further exacerbates the nation's precarious situation, leaving it in a state of heightened vulnerability.

The Heart of the Appeal - The correspondence from Clarke and her colleagues emphasizes the critical nature of the request, stating, "Both of these steps are necessary to ensure that the United States does not return Haitian nationals to a government incapable of protecting its citizens — often subjecting them to repression and violence — and gangs that brutally victimize residents and operate without restrictions." 

The letter paints a harrowing picture of the realities on the ground in Haiti, marked by "quickly worsening gang violence, the uncertain political future following Prime Minister Henry’s resignation announcement, the lack of accountability for human rights violations, and the current government’s abuses."

The gravity of the situation in Haiti cannot be overstated, with armed gangs exerting control over much of the country, including the capital, Port-au-Prince. Residents face an alarming rate of human rights abuses, including killings, kidnappings, and sexual violence. 

The lawmakers' letter to the Biden administration paints a vivid picture of the dire circumstances necessitating an immediate halt to deportations and a redesignation of TPS for Haitians in the United States. 

This plea is not just about policy; it's about safeguarding human lives against the backdrop of a nation struggling to navigate through one of its darkest chapters.

The advocacy for Haiti's TPS redesignation and the halt of deportations is championed by a diverse coalition of voices within the U.S. Congress, spanning across multiple states and political affiliations. 

Notable cosigners include Representatives Alma Adams, Maxine Waters, and Senators Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren, among others, highlighting a widespread consensus on the urgency and moral imperative of the situation. 

Their collective endorsement of the letter to Secretaries Blinken and Mayorkas is a testament to the bipartisan acknowledgment of Haiti's plight and the need for compassionate, immediate action.

Historical Context and Ongoing Efforts - Congresswoman Clarke's dedication to the Haitian cause predates the current crisis. Her advocacy includes urging a Texas federal judge to preserve humanitarian parole programs, calling for international support to assist Haiti in rebuilding from natural disasters and political turmoil, and marking significant historical milestones, such as Haiti's recognition as the first free Black nation in the Americas. These efforts, coupled with the establishment of the House Haiti Caucus, underscore a long-standing commitment to elevating Haiti's needs on the international stage and within U.S. policy considerations.

In conclusion, the push for the redesignation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status and the suspension of deportations is more than a policy recommendation; it is a clarion call for empathy, action, and a reaffirmation of the United States' capacity to lead with humanity. 

As Congresswoman Clarke poignantly notes, "Haiti is undoubtedly experiencing some of the most horrific times in a generation." 

Thus, the collective action spearheaded by Clarke and the Haiti Caucus not only seeks immediate relief for Haitian nationals in the U.S. but also aims to galvanize broader international support and attention towards Haiti's recovery and stability. 

In the spirit of solidarity and moral leadership, it is imperative for the U.S. to heed this call, providing a beacon of hope for Haiti during its time of dire need.


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