Haitian Groups to Rally for TPS

(Image via The Haitian Times)

Haitian organizations will gather at Cadman Plaza Park on Nov. 18 to rally for an extension of Temporary Protected Status for Haitians and Central Americans, reports Vania Andre for The Haitian Times. The Trump administration recently announced it has rescinded TPS for Nicaraguans and extended it for six months for Hondurans. No announcement has been made yet regarding the status for Salvadorans or Haitians.

Andre writes that immigration advocates at the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti say the country is a “textbook case” for an 18-month extension given the damage left behind by Hurricane Matthew in October 2016.

The issue of TPS came up for discussion at the annual National Alliance for the Advancement of Haitian Professionals conference, which took place earlier this month at the New York University School of Law. Instead of an extension, some advocate for reintegrating Haitians back into the country.

“We in Haiti need to think about what we can do to receive people from the Diaspora and what we can do to provide proper support for a good standard of living,” Christian Roy Fombrun, commercial director of Decameron Resort, said during a press conference at the 6th Annual National Alliance for the Advancement of Haitian Professionals conference. “That’s the conversation we should be having, not one where we’re lobbying and pushing for an extension.”

Fombrun cited Haiti’s brain drain as one of the reasons for the current state of the country and argued that more needs to be done to put systems in place to receive the nearly 60,000 Haitians on TPS back to their country.

“We shouldn’t see these 58,000 people as a negative thing,” he said. “They’re going back home. Why is this bad? Let’s find a structure to properly receive them.”

But for others like Judge Lionel Jean-Baptiste, “the answer is not so clear cut.” During the conference, he said that ending TPS “is an invitation for chaos.”

Go to The Haitian Times for more from the judge, as well as the list of organizations participating in the rally, and details on a bill – to be introduced by Rep. Yvette Clarke of Brooklyn and others – that would help TPS recipients apply for permanent residency.

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