SAN DIEGO, CA -- In a cruel and inhumane decision, the Department of Homeland Security announced today that it will extend by six months the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) granted to Haitians who survived the 2010 Haitian earthquake. During this extension, they are expected to prepare to be deported to a country still devastated by natural disasters.
There are an estimated 58,000 Haitians with TPS living in the United States, including about 100 in San Diego. These earthquake survivors have lived, worked, and gone to school in the United States while their country is being rebuilt. However, they are now one step closer to being deported to a country ill-prepared to receive them.
Pastor Jean Elise Durandisse, with the Christ United Methodist Church and a member of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium, released the following statement:
“We are heartbroken by the decision to extend this program for only six months, as opposed to the 18-24 months we have been requesting. Families are in fear because of this uncertain future. We need to continue to show compassion to the victims of natural disasters, and treat them the same way we would like to be treated if we were in their place. TPS is part of our commitment as a nation to support them in their time of need. There are many Americans that stepped up to support these survivors by opening their doors and their hearts, and living by the biblical verse ‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.’ We will continue to pray that God will touch their hearts so that TPS can be extended further and our families can remain together.”
Laura Moreno, Chair of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium, released the following statement:
“San Diego is a thriving and diverse city thanks in part to the contributions of immigrants and refugees who call this place home. We must wear our tried-and-true American values on our sleeves by continuing to support these natural disaster survivors, and we can do that by extending TPS for 18 to 24 months. On September 16, 2016, then-candidate Trump went to “Little Haiti” in Miami, Florida and told Haitians that “Haiti is still suffering very badly” and pledged to be their “greatest champion.” This is an opportunity for President Trump to fulfill his campaign promise by extending a program that has given earthquake survivors the dignity of work and safety while conditions in their country improve. Haiti is still in no condition to receive an estimated 58,000 people.”
About San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium
The San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium is a project of Alliance San Diego. Since 2007, community, faith, labor, and legal organizations have come together as the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium (SDIRC). Through SDIRC, these organizations are pursuing four common goals: support comprehensive immigration reform; stop the spread of local policies and practices that target and violate the civil and human rights of immigrants; educate immigrants; and educate the public about the important contributions of immigrants. More at: www.immigrantsandiego.org.