November 21, 2017
The Scalabrini International Migration Network, founded by the Missionaries of St. Charles, Scalabrini, operates 270 programs for migrants worldwide, including a job creation center, a clinic, three schools and a youth center in Haiti. We are disturbed by the November 20 announcement by the U.S. government terminating Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti, a decision which will leave over 50,000 Haitians residing in the United States vulnerable to deportation.
According to the Center for Migration Studies of New York, member of the SIMN network, Haitians protected by TPS have resided in the United States an average of 13 years, owning 6,200 mortgages, and 1,400 businesses. More than 80 percent participate in the workforce, sending millions of dollars back to Haiti annually. They have 27,000 US-citizen children.
It is clear from our work in Haiti that the country is ill-prepared to receive and re-integrate tens of thousands of Haitians back into the society. Haiti is still recovering from a series of natural disasters, including two hurricanes only two months ago, as well as a cholera epidemic and food shortages. It also is one of the poorest nations in the Western Hemisphere, with limited resources to meet the needs of its own citizens.
Deporting Haitians protected by TPS back to Haiti would lead to family separation and would not serve the long-term interests of Haiti, the Caribbean region, or the United States. We urge the US government to reconsider its decision and to extend TPS to Haiti for another 18 months, which would allow the nation to fully recover from its maladies. We also urge the U.S. Congress to pass legislation giving Haitians in the United States permanent residency, as they are already imbedded in our society and are contributing to our economy.