Blog & Updates
NAACP urges President Obama to grant TPS for Haitians
March 24, 2009 - Posted by Katherine Vargas
Photo by Danny.Hammontree
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has joined the effort to persuade President Obama to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) — temporary protection from deportation for nationals of a country in which environmental or political events have occurred which make it temporarily unsafe to deport them — to Haitians while Haiti recovers from multiple disasters. The petition, available online on the NAACP website, states:
Recent devastating environmental disasters from which Haiti has not recovered, continuing violence, and unstable political conditions pose a serious threat at this time to the personal safety of anyone forcibly repatriated to Haiti. Last year's storms and hurricanes killed hundreds and rendered hundreds of thousands homeless. Fifteen percent of Haiti's already fragile economy was destroyed, the equivalent of eight to ten Hurricane Katrinas hitting the United States in the same month. Haitian deportees face hunger, homelessness, and grave threats to their security.
Furthermore, granting TPS to Haitian refugees would help Haiti recover, as Haitians in the United States could obtain work permits and would increase the already significant flow of remittances to their family and friends back home. Haitians who receive that aid are more likely to stay and rebuild Haiti. Many depend on those remittances for their very survival. That flow of dollars is among the best foreign aid that the United States can provide, and it costs taxpayers nothing. Strengthening Haiti’s economy will be the only sure way to ensure that more Haitians will not risk their lives on a perilous oversea journey to the United States. Granting Haitians TPS would also directly assist Haiti's nascent democracy in its efforts to recover from these conditions, stabilize the country's economy, rebuild its political and economic institutions, and provide a future of hope for Haiti's people. TPS would be extended only to those Haitians currently residing in the United States, so any concerns about a mass exodus to the US are unfounded.
The Obama Administration has granted an extension of Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for Liberians. DED provides Liberians the temporary right to live and work in the United States and it was first granted in 1991 as a result of the widespread civil war in Liberia.