Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Syndicate content
Updated: 2 hours 19 min ago

Haiti: Senate votes to Ban Same Sex Marriage But The Chamber Of  The Deputies And The President Has The Final Say

August 3, 2017 - 12:44

The Haitian senate passed a bill banning same sex marriage and any form of public displays of affection or support for/in the LGBT community. This bill allows for further marginalization and mistreatment of the LGBT community by stripping them of their rights to protest over their treatment. The senators used the Article 3 of Haiti’s Constitution to back up their vote. The bill will soon go to the Chamber of the Deputies and is expected to pass. Although, if the both chambers pass the bill, it will not become law of the land until President Jovenel Moïse signs and publishes it in the country’s official Journal, Le Moniteur.

Read the full article HERE.

Haiti Senate votes to ban gay marriage

Agence France Press, republished by Indian Express, August 3, 2017

Haiti’s constitution established a secular republic but the country is marked by deep religious beliefs. “Although the state is secular, it is people of faith who are the majority,” Latortue said, stressing the commonly held belief in Haiti that homosexuality is a Western practice only.

A vote by the Haitian Senate to ban gay marriage as well as “public demonstration of support” for homosexuality reflects the will of the people, the chamber’s president has said. The Senate approved a bill late Tuesday that said “the parties, co-parties and accomplices” of a homosexual marriage can be punished by three years in prison and a fine of about USD 8,000.

Read the full article HERE.

Additional Sources:

Haïti: le sénat interdit le mariage gay,” Le Figaro, 2 août  2017

Les sénateurs mettent les bâtons dans les roues des homosexuels,” par Juno Jean Baptiste, Le Nouvelliste, 1 août 2017

Catholic Priest Calls on Haitian Officials to Defend Cholera Victims

August 2, 2017 - 12:29

During the celebration of Feast of St Ann and Joachim in Tianon, Mirbalais located in the central Plateau of Haiti, Father Serdieu-Jean commends the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) for its legal work as well as its advocacy work that generates support from international human rights to press for justice for the victims of cholera.

“For more than six years, cholera has put our compatriots in Haiti, especially in Fort Michel, Mont Blanc No. Six, to name a few, in a situation where they do not have clean water, yet they sell all they have in order to take care of people who are infected and bury people’s bodies who died from cholera. This portion of the population that is consistently neglected continue to be victims of cholera every day.This is very grave and it will be even more grave if this summer passes and civil society organizations, the Haitian government, the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux, Members Of Parliament — a lot of them are here–don’t speak out, or make a quick intervention.

We take our hats off in salutation to all of the organizations and offices, especially Bureau des Avocats Internationaux, who have intervened already.

Now, we ask the Haitian government, the members of parliament and all other sectors who it concerns, to take positions in favor of the victims of cholera, and for all of the Haitian people who aren’t victims yet. Because even if they are poor, they are still people who have rights and identities. Like all people, they have rights to justice, and reparations.”

Bayakou: The Ostracized Men of The Sewers

August 1, 2017 - 19:33

Following the 2010 earthquake and hurricane Matthew in 2016, Haiti’s sewage problems  have  only been exacerbated. With only one sewage disposal plant in all of Haiti, it serves a small fraction of the population.Most citizens dispose of their excrement in outhouses or open sewers. When it rains, the sewers carry pathogens into the water supply which has attributed to the spread of cholera. As the population of the capital city increases, the sewage crisis becomes more prevalent. “Bayakou,” the men who empty the latrines into the sewer or the treatment plants, cannot control the amount of sewage produced. If TPS protections for Haitian’s are removed, 58,000 Haitians will be forced to return to Haiti, which could not only spread cholera at a more rapid rate, it also puts many lives in danger.

To learn more about TPS Click  the link to our  TPS PAGE

To learn more about Cholera in Haiti click the link to our  Cholera Page 


Read Full Article HERE 

Haiti’s ‘Bayakou': Hauling Away Human Excrement By Hand

Rebecca Hersher, NPR

Port-au-Prince, Haiti, is one of the largest cities in the world without a central sewage system. Most of the more than 3 million residents use outhouses and rely on workers with some of the worst jobs in the world, hauling away human excrement by hand one bucket at a time. The men are called bayakou, and they work in the dark by candlelight. Rebecca Hersher spent a night with a group of them.
REBECCA HERSHER, BYLINE: As soon as we arrive, you can smell it. It’s a heavy, earthy stench, like rotten eggs and grosser things.
An estimated 1 in 5 Haitians don’t have access to any kind of latrine. Those who do have outhouses generally hire a bayakou to clean them out. Tonight, a team of four bayakou are emptying one outhouse. One of the guys, Gabriel Toto, is sitting on the edge of the hole, his bare feet in the brown soup below, holding a big stick.
HERSHER: The stick measures about 15 feet deep. Tonight, with a foreign reporter around, Gabriel is wearing knee-length pants and gloves. Usually, he works naked.
TOTO: (Through interpreter) They don’t usually give us these gloves and things, when you’re not here.

Read Full Article HERE

Haiti’s Senate Bill Discriminates Against LGBTQ Community

July 31, 2017 - 12:01
Photo Credit: Katie Orlinsky for Al Jazeera America

In June, a bill was adopted by the Haitian Senate which not only violates the Haitian Constitution, it also further marginalizes and discriminates against the LGBTQ community. Consensual homosexual relationships in Haiti have been legal since 1986, yet due to religious culture, the subject remains taboo. Mario Joseph, Managing Attorney at the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI), urged the Haitian government to protect the rights and dignity of Haitian LGBTQ individuals. “The Haitian government must respect its obligation to protect disadvantaged populations instead of persecuting them,” said Joseph.

Read Full Article HERE

Haiti Senate Bill Discriminates Against LGBTQ Community, Human Rights Org Says

The Haitian Times

A recent bill adopted by the Haitian Senate last month discriminates against the LGBTQ community and violates the Haitian constitution, Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) said in a recent release. The Bill on the Reputation and Assessment of Good and Moral Conduct, which was adopted on June 29, criminalizes homosexuality and classifies it along with other crimes such as child pornography, prostitution, and child abuse.
“The Haitian government must respect its obligation to protect disadvantaged populations instead of persecuting them,” said Mario Joseph, an attorney at BAI.  “Contrary to the interpretation of Senator Jean-Renel Sénatus, the Haitian Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights guarantee equal protection for LGBT people. We must accept that LGBT people need and have the right to the same protection as other marginalized Haitians such as women, children, the poor, and handicapped persons.”
Although consensual homosexual relationships have been legal since 1986, the subject remains largely taboo in the deeply religious-based culture. For example, a festival celebrating Haiti’s LGBTQ community was slated for last year, but was later cancelled after threats of violence and government opposition.
According to Charlot Jeudy, President of the organization KOURAJ (Courage in English), “Homosexuality and transsexuality remain taboo subjects in Haitian society, and as a result, the lives of many LGBT people are characterized by secrecy, isolation, discrimination, fear of retaliation, and violence.” Community organizations like KOURAJ, which work with the LGBT community, are often the victims of threats and attacks because of their work.
Article 2 of the declaration states that, “anyone can invoke all the rights and liberties proclaimed in the current Declaration, without discriminating against race, color, sex, language, religion, political opinions or other viewpoints.” Article 16 expands the right to marry by reducing discrimination, and increasing the equality of the sexes in accordance with this law. The General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) clarified in 2006 that this non-discrimination principle applies to LGBT people as well.

Read Full Article HERE

Haiti: The Return of the Disbanded Army Triggers Bad Memories Amongst Haitian Population

July 31, 2017 - 08:41


After more than two decades, Haiti is reconstructing its army known as lame kraze zo or lame kou deta, concerns grow amongst the population. Defense Minister Herve Denis stated that the army’s mission would be to combat contraband trafficking and provide relief during natural disasters. However, human rights advocates argued that Haiti should instead spend it’s limited financial to reinforce the capacity of its National Police Force of 15,000 officers. “People are signing up because they are desperate for jobs and meaning,” said Brian Concannon, the Executive Director of Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti. “I have seen nothing that would indicate that the army would do a better job of policing the borders or responding to natural disasters than civilian police,” concluded Concannon.

Read Full Article HERE

Haiti Is Bringing Back Its Army

A history of brutal, Duvalierist repression led to its disbandment in 1995

Tristin Clavel InSight Crime.

Haiti is reconstituting its previously disbanded army after more than two decades, amid concerns about growing insecurity as a United Nations peacekeeping force is set to withdraw later this year. And while politicians have justified the move as a step toward combating contraband trafficking, the real motivations behind the decision may be political.

The recruitment effort for the new army was announced by the Defense Ministry in early July and has seen more than 2,200 candidates sign up in the first round, reported Haiti Libre Due to budget constraints, the force will have fewer than 500 members.

Defense Minister Hervé Denis said the army’s mission would be to fight against contraband smuggling and provide relief in case of natural disasters, according to the Miami Herald.The minister argued that the cost of the force will be outweighed by its impact on smuggling from the Dominican Republic, which he estimated causes lost tax revenues for Haiti of between $200 million and $500 million per year.

However, critics have said that the recruitment process has lacked transparency and has been conducted in the absence of a command structure for the force, reported Alter Presse.


Read Full Article HERE


Financial Hardship Leads a Haitian TPS-Holder Comitting Suicide Says Brooklyn City Council Member

July 31, 2017 - 06:42

A Haitian TPS-holder in New York took his own life in the midst of financial hardship.He left behind his disabled mother and two siblings who are also TPS beneficiaries.  The grieving mother sought out TPS renewal after her son died. The late young man  attended high school in New York and committed suicide after he was unable to acquire money needed to renew his TPS status. Haitian activists, U.S. lawmakers and immigration advocates urge the U.S govt to extend TPS for at least 18 months for Haiti.

For more information on TPS extension, please visit our website

Read The Full Article HERE


Eugene seeks support for mother of TPS beneficiary who committed suicide

Nelson A. King, Caribbean Life 

July 27, 2017

Brooklyn Council Member Dr. Mathieu Eugene says he is seeking support for the mother of a Haitian Temporary Protected Status (TPS) beneficiary who took his own life on June 11.

Eugene, who represents the 40th Council District in Brooklyn, said the unidentified mother, a disabled woman who is raising three children, “recently lost her son to suicide triggered in part by financial hardship that is expected to worsen with the end of TPS.

“Her son, who could not afford to attend his high school graduation and could not pay for TPS, pursued a number of employment opportunities to assist his family,” said Eugene, the first Haitian to be elected to New York City Council. “In the end, however, the emotional toll of being a financial burden to his parents was too much for him to handle.

Continue Reading HERE

Recent Study from the Center for Migration Studies Shows That Ending TPS  Would Negatively Impact the U.S. Economy

July 31, 2017 - 06:41

According to a study published by Center for Migration Studies in New York, deporting people from TPS-designated countries would negatively negative impact the United States economy. The study also shows that more than 80% of the approximately 325,000 immigrants are tax payers working in crucial industries for the U.S. The United States could see a reduction in its GDP, ‘banks would see defaults in mortgages” and foster care would see cost increase due to thousands of orphans left behind by the immigrants. “It’s a lose-lose-lose option,” said Donald Kerwin, Executive Director of the Center for Migration Studies.

For more information on TPS extension, please visit our website

Read the full article HERE.

Study says doing away with immigration program would harm economy

 Rhina Guidos Catholic News Service

Citing the significant economic contributions of immigrants under a federal program known as Temporary Protected Status, a new study says ending the program — as some in the Trump administration have suggested — would negatively impact the U.S. economy.

That’s because more than 80 percent of the approximately 325,000 immigrants in the country with the status known as TPS have jobs, many have mortgages, pay taxes and work in industries crucial to the economy, such as construction, child care and health care, and collectively have some 273,000 U.S.-born children, says a July report by the Center for Migration Studies in New York.

Kevin Appleby, the center’s senior director of international migration policy, said if extensions for the migrants are not granted or the program is terminated, crucial industries would see a shortage of workers, banks would see defaults in mortgages, and government coffers would lose out on tax revenues and consumer spending.

“Let’s hope the financial industry realizes that,” he said.

Deporting TPS recipient parents also would create thousands of orphans in the country, which would increase foster care costs, place a burden on local and state governments, and alienate the children affected, said Appleby. He was one of three officials from the center who explained the report “Statistical and Demographic Profile of the U.S. Temporary Protected Status Populations From El Salvador, Honduras and Haiti” in a July 20 video conference.

Read the full article HERE.

Cholera Victims Press for Individual Compensation

July 27, 2017 - 08:22
Jacqueline Charles–Miami Herald

As the United Nations winds down its 13-year peacekeeping in Haiti,  the victims of cholera demand that the organization fulfills the promise it made to the Haitian people nearly a year ago. The U.N. promised to raise $400 million to fund its New Approach to cholera in Haiti which included individual compensation to the most affected families.  Brian Concannon, the Executive Director of  Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti urged the U.N. to consult with cholera victims before making its final decision.
“Moving forward with only community projects without consulting Haitians will not be accepted in Haiti and will not effectively address the harms that have been suffered by victims,” Concannon said.

Join our Time 2Deliver campaign to urge the U.N. to deliver on its promise and urge your country to contribute to the cholera fund if it has not done so already.

Read the full Article HERE.

Anger and angst in Haiti as cholera victims wait for UN compensation

Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald,  July 27, 2017 


In a suburb a few miles south of Haiti’s capital of Port-au-Prince, Vilner Benjamin walks through a concrete maze of unpainted cinder block homes and narrow alleys pointing out the filthy, standing water and the canal that floods with disease-carrying waste whenever it rains.

His cell phone rings nonstop as he makes his way through the neighborhood called Bergamoth, with caller after caller anxiously asking the same question: “Any news?”

The calls are from Haitian cholera victims who are desperate to know if they’ll receive any of the compensation promised by the United Nations after its blue-helmeted peacekeepers infected Haiti’s Artibonite River and one of its tributaries with the deadly disease in 2010.

Continue Reading HERE 

Sexual Violence is increasingly becoming a Public Health Issue

July 26, 2017 - 11:58

Sexual Violence in Haiti has become an increasingly heightened issue against women, children and toddlers. Due to limited health services being provided for victims of sexual violence, many claim that sexual violence in Haiti is indeed a public health problem considering emergency contraception and antiretroviral drugs to prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS are needed as well as further medical treatment.

Read Full Article HERE

Sexual violence in Haiti is a public health problem: charity

Anastasia Moloney

BOGOTA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Rampant sexual violence in Haiti against women and children, including some toddlers, should be treated as a public health issue and more care made available for survivors, the medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said. Most of the 1,300 survivors of sexual violence who had been treated at one clinic run by MSF in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince since it opened in May 2015 are younger than 25, and more than half are children, according to a MSF report this month. Four in every five people who sought free medical and psychological care at the MSF Pran Men’m clinic had been raped.

“We would like sexual violence to be recognized as a public health problem because there is not a lot of health services and care available for patients,” said Carl Frederic Casimir, deputy medical coordinator at the clinic. The 24-hour clinic receives an average of 80 survivors of sexual violence a month, providing emergency contraception and antiretroviral drugs to prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS.

Casimir said he has seen children as young as two years old treated for sexual assault at the clinic.”This is the most shocking part of it, the minors. Most of the time with the children, it’s people (the attackers) they know,” Casimir told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Just under half of all child victims of sexual assault who came to the clinic were referred by the police, a sign authorities are playing an important role in helping girls and women get emergency care, MSF said. “Their collaboration has been instrumental for ensuring timely medical and psychological care for young survivors,” the MSF report said. “It could also suggest that some of these young women were confident enough to go to the police after sexual abuse.” Rape survivors are often traumatized and having access to mental health care, including counseling, is crucial for them to recover and to avoid developing depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, Casimir said. Haiti’s ministry for women has said addressing the country’s high levels of sexual violence and improving access to justice for victims is a priority.

Read Full Article HERE

Haitian TPS-Holders Anxiously Awaiting Trump’s Decision

July 25, 2017 - 09:55

After finding refuge in the US, many Haitians still remain in fear after the Department of Homeland Security  (DHS) extended Temporary Protected Status  (TPS) for Haitian nationals for six months instead of the usual 18 months.  Haitian activists, U.S. lawmakers and immigration advocates urge  Secretary John Kelly to extend TPS for at least 18 months for Haiti.

For more information on TPS extension, please visit our website

Read Full Article HERE

These Haitians Found Refuge From Earthquakes, Cholera, and Poverty. Now Trump Plans to Send Them Back.

Nathalie Baptiste Mother Jones

But, in October 2010, “UN troops inadvertently introduced a still-unchecked cholera epidemic,” said Steve Forester, the immigration policy coordinator at Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, an advocacy group. “Haiti hadn’t had cholera in at least 100 years.”
Cholera is an illness caused by an infection of the intestine, which is spread by contaminated food or water. Symptoms include severe watery diarrhea, vomiting, muscle cramps, and more. In rich countries, cholera is not fatal because it is generally treated quickly. But in Haiti, where hospitals and qualified doctors are in short supply, treatable illnesses often turn into death sentences. So far, cholera has killed at least 10,000 Haitians and sickened hundreds of thousands more. “Haiti needs the time to deal with the triple-whammy of quake, cholera, and Matthew and the health and food insecurity crises they’ve caused,” says Forester


In 2011, an UN-appointed panel concluded that a UN camp that housed peacekeepers from Nepal—where the same strain of the disease is endemic—was the source of the infection. The UN is struggling to come up with the resources to fund a sustained recovery effort. Forester points out that the UN has only raised $10 million of its goal of $400 million to effectively begin to combat the epidemic. In December 2016, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon offered a formal apology for the outbreak. “We simply did not do enough with regard to cholera outbreak and its spread in Haiti,” he said. “We are profoundly sorry about our role.”


Read Full Article HERE

Haitian Advocates start 180 day countdown to extend TPS

July 25, 2017 - 07:30

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) extended Temporary Protected Status  (TPS) for Haitian nationals for six months instead of the usual 18 months.  Haitian activists and Haitian advocates started an 180 day countdown to push the trump administration to extend TPS and also continue to work with U.S. lawmakers and immigration advocates urging Secretary John Kelly to extend TPS for at least 18 months for Haiti.

For more information on TPS extension, please visit our website

Read Full Article HERE

Haitian advocates start 180-day countdown urging Trump administration to extend TPS

Ayanna Runcie  Miami Herald
A 10-year-old girl from Miami who could be deported from the U.S. if Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, isn’t extended for Haitians joined a campaign Monday to raise awareness of the issue.
“I’m not afraid, but I have to be concerned about it,” Vanessa Joseph said during a press conference organized by Haitian Women of Miami. “So I have to keep on fighting for my parents and some TPS recipients.”
Joseph’s parents are Haitian citizens who have been living in the United States under TPS, a federal program that allows people living in counties that are plagued with civil conflict or environmental disasters to live and work in the United States. About 58,000 Haitians are protected from deportation under TPS.

TPS was granted to Haitian nationals under the Obama administration after an earthquake devastated the nation in 2010. The Trump administration announced in May that TPS for Haitians will expire January 22.
Haitian Women of Miami encouraged South Florida residents who could qualify for TPS to apply right up to the midnight deadline on Monday, even though some have already received letters from the Department of Homeland Security stating that they must leave the country in six months, according to Marleine Bastien, executive director of the organization.

Read Full Article HERE

After Thirteen Years, What Will Be the U.N.’s Legacy in Haiti?

July 24, 2017 - 11:27

On October 16, the United Nations (U.N.) will end its 13-year controversial peacekeeping mission in Haiti. The U.N. Mission for Stabilization in Haiti known by its French acronym MINUSTAH has been plagued by series of controversies from sexual abuses to cholera outbreak and the list can go on. The UN cholera has killed over 10,000 Haitians and sickened 800,000 more. It took U.N. nearly six years to acknowledge its role in spreading the cholera and to publicly apologize to Haitian people. U.N.’s legacy is in the line. The organization needs to raise $400 million to fund its New Approach to cholera in Haiti.

Join our Time2Deliver campaign to press the U.N. to keep its promise to Haitian people and urge your country to contribute to the cholera fund it it has not already done so.

Read the full arricle HERE

The U.N.’s Legacy in Haiti: Stability, but for Whom?

Jake Johnston, World Politics Review 

After 13 years and more than $7 billion, the “touristas”—as the United Nations soldiers that currently occupy Haiti are commonly referred to—will finally be heading home. Well, sort of. While thousands of troops are expected to depart in October, the U.N. has authorized a new, smaller mission composed of police that will focus on justice and strengthening the rule of law. But the U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti, known by its French acronym, MINUSTAH, is not just thousands of foreign soldiers “keeping the peace.” It is the latest and most visible manifestation of the international community’s habit of intervening in Haiti, a habit that is unlikely to change.

World powers have always had a difficult time accepting Haitian sovereignty. When a slave revolt delivered Haiti independence from France in 1804, gunboat diplomacy ensured the liberated inhabitants would pay for their freedom. For the next 150 years, Haiti paid France a ransom for its continued independence. In the early 20th century, a new hegemonic power held sway, with U.S. Marines occupying the country for more than 20 years.

Read the full article HERE 

Haitian TPS-Holders Anxiously Await Trump’s Upcoming Decision

July 24, 2017 - 08:43

Haitian TPS-holders which amount to as many as 58,000 in the United States are overwhelmed with fear as they await Trump’s next move. Last week 26 U.S. senators wrote secretaries John Kelly and Rex Tillerson urging them to extend Temporary Protected Status  for ten countries, including Haiti. Haitian activists, U.S. lawmakers and immigration advocates continue to ask the Trump Administration to re-designate TPS for Haiti for least 18 months. Haiti has been rilled by a series of natural disasters in the past seven years. The country is still recovering from the 2010 earthquake that killed hundreds of thousands of people and from last year’s Hurricane Mathew that devastated its southern peninsula killing thousands of people and destroyed livelihoods of farmers.

For more information on TPS extension, please visit our website.

Full Article HERE

Haitian Immigrants With Temporary Status Await Trump’s Next Move


Jean Jubens Jeanty, a Haitian Uber driver who lives in Brooklyn, has his future mapped out. After completing a high school diploma program at Brooklyn College next month, he plans to start college next year. He would then seek further schooling to become a nurse or pediatrician. But the clock is ticking on his plans.
Mr. Jeanty, 29, came to the United States from Port-au-Prince in September 2006 with his eldest brother and stayed after his tourist visa expired. He has what is known as temporary protected status, or T.P.S., which was granted to Haitians who were visiting the United States or living here illegally when a devastating earthquake struck their homeland in 2010. T.P.S. allows him and other Haitians to live and work legally in this country, until conditions in Haiti have improved enough to return home safely.
Now, the Trump administration is monitoring earthquake recovery efforts to determine whether temporary protected status for Haitians should be terminated in January when its recent six month extension ends.The Homeland Security secretary, John F. Kelly, said in a news release in May that Haiti has been making significant progress, advising T.P.S. holders to begin to “prepare for and arrange their departure” should the special designation end in January.

Full Article HERE

The Haitian American Lawyers Association of New York Provides Free Clinical Service to Haitian-TPS Holders

July 24, 2017 - 08:02

Following the announcement of  Department of Homeland Security’s six-month Temporary Protected Status (TPS) extension for Haiti, the Haitian American Lawyers Association of New York (HALANY) has been holding free clinics in Flatbush, NY, to help Haitians renew their TPS. The Association has also assisted participants in finding Haitian Creole-speaking immigration attorneys statewide.

Full Article HERE 

Haitian Bar Association hosts clinics for those in danger of losing temporary protected status

Rob Abruzzese, Brooklyn Daily Eagle 

July 13, 2017

Haitian American Lawyers Association of New York (HALANY) have been hard at work this summer as they have held a pair of temporary protected status (TPS) renewal clinics in Flatbush this summer to help Haitian immigrants who are in danger of losing their status.

The first of these events was held at the YMCA in Flatbush last month and another was held this past weekend at the Bethesda Baptist Church, also in Flatbush. These events connect Haitians living in Brooklyn and the state with Creole-speaking attorneys who can help them to renew the immigration benefit.

Read Full Article HERE

Activists, Lawmakers Continue to Urge DHS Extend TPS for over 50, 000 Haitian Nationals

July 21, 2017 - 09:15

Over 50,000 Haitians who have been living in the United States for the past seven years could be sent back to Haiti next January. They were granted Temporary Protection Status (TPS) following the 2010 earthquake was extended last year under the Obama Administration after Hurricane Matthew ruined Haiti’s southern peninsula last year. The Department of Homeland Security Secretary (DHS) John Kelly extended TPS for Haitian national for six month instead of the usual 18 months.  Haiti is not and won’t be ready to welcome back  those Haitians in the next few months. We urge DHS to extend TPS for Haiti for at least 18 months.

For more information on TPS extension, please visit our website.

Full Article HERE

Plea to Trump to Extend Haitian Temporary Protected Status

Alan Warnick, NY Daily News 

July 17, 2017 

Q: I am here lawfully with Haitian Temporary Protected Status. I read that the Department of Homeland Security will end the program Jan. 18. If that happens, will they try to deport us Haitians all at once?

John Eugene, Florida

A: I remain optimistic that DHS will extend TPS for Haitians beyond Jan. 19. If I’m wrong, I doubt that Immigration and Customs Enforcement will make deporting Haitians a priority. ICE and the immigration courts are already overwhelmed. Many Haitians will have defenses to deportation. When they assert their claims, the courts will be clogged further.

Full Article HERE

Senators Gillibrand & Menendez, With 24 Senate Colleagues, Urge U.S. Dept. of State and U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security To Extend Temporary Protected Status For Individuals From 10 TPS-Designated Countries.

July 19, 2017 - 16:18

Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) today with 24 Senate colleagues wrote to the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security urging Secretaries Rex Tillerson and John Kelly to extend the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) of nationals currently residing in the United States. The TPS designation is a temporary benefit aimed at providing relief to foreign nationals in the United States and countries devastated by natural disasters, armed conflict, or other extraordinary conditions. Currently, there are over 320,000 TPS holders in the United States from 10 countries with deadlines set to expire at the end of the year and beginning of 2018. These countries include El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

“We urge you to review each of the designations closely, taking into consideration conditions on the ground and remaining mindful of the possibility that ending TPS and ordering the return of recipients could undermine fragile recovery efforts or put individuals in harm’s way,” the Senators wrote in their letter. “Continuing to extend TPS for the 10 currently designated countries serves our national security interests and demonstrates to our allies abroad that the United States is a leader in humanitarian efforts.”
The TPS designation is implemented through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and is a temporary benefit aimed at providing relief to immigrants residing in the United States who are unable to safely return to their home country. TPS can be granted in the event of an ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster as well as other extraordinary and temporary conditions. TPS recipients are fully vetted and are required to undergo background checks to ensure that they are not risks to public safety or national security.
Once granted TPS, individuals may not be deported, can obtain an employment authorization document and may be granted travel authorization. In addition, individuals cannot be detained by DHS on the basis of their immigration status. Today’s letter comes after Senator Menendez joined the Congressional Hispanic Caucus last week in a meeting with Secretary Kelly about the Trump administration’s immigration policies including the future of Temporary Protected Status designations. Upon questioning, Secretary Kelly was non-committal in laying out a clear future that ensures the United States continues to show our leadership in extending protection to TPS recipients as their countries recover.

Read Full Article HERE

For more information on TPS extension, please visit our website

Top U.S. Official Indicates Special Immigration Status for Millions May Terminate Soon

July 18, 2017 - 11:48

The Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told the Congressional Hispanic Caucus that the fate of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) “will likely be determined by the courts.” He also indicated that the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitian nationals “will likely end.” Last May, Mr. Kelly extended TPS for Haitians for six months instead of the usual 18 months. 

For more information on TPS extension, please visit our WEBSITE

Click HERE to read the full article.

Top Trump official warns special immigration status may end soon for a million people


July 12, 2017

WASHINGTON —President Donald Trump’s top immigration official warned Hispanic members of Congress Wednesday that over a million people living in the United States under a special protected status could soon be placed in line for deportation.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus that the fate of deferred action program known as DACA — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — will likely be determined by the courts, perhaps as soon as September, and that attorneys he’s consulted with do not think the program is legally sustainable. Kelly also would not commit to extending temporary protected status, or TPS, for nationals from Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and four other countries, but indicated that TPS for Haitians will likely end.

“I have never left a meeting so emotionally affected than from what I just heard inside,” said U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., who estimated that millions of people could be deported. “And I’m positive that my colleagues heard the same thing that I heard.”

Click HERE to read the full article.

Grand’Anse: Farmers Struggling to Rebuild their Lives Post-Hurricane Matthew

July 18, 2017 - 10:49

Nine months after Hurricane Matthew devastated the southern peninsula of Haiti, farmers who have been  self-sufficient are now struggling to make ends meet. They  have been unable to afford to buy the staples that they once grew in their fields. With the exodus of humanitarian aid, many feel that they have been forgotten by their own government. They are worried about the government’s ability and interest in assisting their recovery from the hurricane that ruined their lives, destroyed their livelihoods and left behind $2.8 billion in damage.

Read Full Article HERE

After Hurricane Matthew, many  victims in Haiti feel abandoned

Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald

July 14, 2017

PLAINE GOMMIERS, HAITI: A feisty Vanette Joseph slowly navigates her way through a field of debris, passing broken branches and other reminders of last year’s devastating 145-mph hurricane before spying one of her few surviving plants.

“All of the lime trees were destroyed,” she says as something catches her eye. She moves in for a closer look.

Much like Hurricane Matthew put a choke-hold on her livelihood, an invasive coiling vine has gotten hold of the lone standing lime tree, and Joseph, 91, isn’t happy. So the determined farmer pushes her eyeglasses on top of her forehead, reaches in and starts pulling.

Read Full Article HERE 

Haitian Activists Press the U.S. to Extend TPS for Haitian Nationals

July 14, 2017 - 12:30

The Department of Homeland Security  (DHS) extended Temporary Protected Status  (TPS) for Haitian nationals for six months instead of the usual 18 months.  Haitian activists, U.S. lawmakers and immigration advocates urge  Secretary John Kelly to extend TPS for at least 18 months for Haiti.

For more information on TPS extension, please visit our website

Read Full Article HERE

Haitian activists urge U.S. not to deport quake refugees

Sebastian Malo, Reuters

May 10, 2017

A Boston-based activist group, the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), said it had been successful in lobbying lawmakers for their support.

So far, the group had prompted some 90 members of Congress to publicly voice their support for the preservation of Haiti’s status, said Steve Forester, a spokesman for IJDH.

“If there was ever a classic textbook case for TPS, it is Haiti,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone.

“Not granting TPS would increase despair, the destabilizing (of Haiti) and be contrary to the national security of the United States.”

Last week, Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse told Haitian media he too backed the renewal of the TPS for his country.

Read Full Article HERE

U.N. Wants to Transfer MINUSTAH’s Underspent Dollars to Haiti’s Cholera Fund

July 14, 2017 - 12:06

The United Nations said that it will ask Member States to voluntarily transfer their share of the MINUSTAH’s unspent money to the Haiti cholera fund to assist the victims of cholera. In 92 days, the U.N. will close its 13-year controversial peacekeeping mission on October 16th.

Join our Time2Deliver campaign to add pressure to the  U.N. so that they can respect the promise they made to Haitian people.

Read Full Article HERE

UN asks countries to shift $40m to Haiti cholera fund,

UNITED NATIONS – The United Nations said Thursday it will ask countries to voluntarily hand over $40.5 million remaining from the budget of the soon-to-close mission in Haiti to help victims of cholera in the Caribbean country.

The General Assembly adopted a resolution endorsing a proposal from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres who is facing a major shortfall in the $400 million needed to help Haiti recover from the epidemic.

Guterres will ask all contributors to the peacekeeping budget to notify him within 60 days whether they will are willing to shift their share of the unspent money to the cholera fund.

The United States, the biggest financial contributor to UN peacekeeping, last month announced that it will be taking back its share of the unspent budget and will not be making a contribution to the fund.

Read Full Article HERE