In a letter sent today to President Barack Obama, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Council Member Jumaane Williams called upon the Administration to renew “Temporary Protected Status” for undocumented Haitian immigrants living in the United States. The designation was provided by the US government after last January’s devastating earthquake in Haiti, and allows Haitian nationals to live and work here legally on a temporary basis. It is set to expire in July 2011.
Text of the letter:
December 22, 2010
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
Almost one year ago, your Administration extended Temporary Protected Status and halted deportations for thousands of undocumented Haitian nationals residing within the United States. As elected officials in the City of New York—the city with the second largest Haitian population in the country—we commend you for sparing so many individuals and families from the pain, suffering and dangers of returning to Haiti. We write today to express concern over the resumption of deportations to Haiti, and to urge your Administration to allay fears within the Haitian community by renewing the Temporary Protected Status of Haitian nationals, which will expire in July of next year.
Reconstruction in Haiti has proceeded at an arduously slow pace, and the recent outbreak of cholera means that Haitian nationals returning to their home country will face not only deprivation, but a deadly epidemic as well. Compassion and decency for our Haitian neighbors demand that we continue to offer Temporary Protected Status to Haitian nationals living in the United States beyond July 2011. Haitians living and working here provide desperately needed remittance to their families in Haiti, which we must not close off at this critical point in the relief effort.
We respectfully request that you extend Temporary Protected Status to Haitian nationals past its July 2011 expiration.
Bill de Blasio
Public Advocate for the City of New York
Jumaane D. Williams
New York City Council Member, District 45