Haiti, the poorest nation in our hemisphere, and the one of poorest nations in the world, was hit by yet another natural disaster–a 7.0 earthquake. This after a Haiti has endured four major storms in 2008, from which it has yet to recover. Tropical Storm Fay and hurricanes Gustav, Hanna and Ike – pounded Haiti in August and September 2008, killing a total of 793 people and leaving more than 300 others missing, according to government figures. The country was also gripped by a tense political standoff in April 2008 amid riots over skyrocketing food prices. UN troops are a regular sight throughout much of the country.
Frankly, I cannot imagine a worse situation in a country. Certainly, if ever there were the need for a country and a people to be given a helping hand, this is the time, and this is the country. Attorney General Holder, Secretary Napolitano, Please grant Temporary Protected Status (”TPS”) to Haitians currently in the United States. Temporarily stop deportations to Haiti. Give this country a chance at recovery, without burdening it further. Allow the nationals of that country currently in the United States to help that country recovery by allowing them to come forward and secure a work permission in the United States.
The reality is that failure to move forward with TPSDesignation for Haiti now will be considered by many to be racist. Honduras has had TPS for YEARS since the one Hurricane which devastated that country. El Salvador has enjoyed such designation for numerous years as well since the earthquakes in that country. Yet, Haiti, which appears to be at the center of Mother Nature’s wrath for the last 18 months, remains forsaken, its nationals abandoned.
Attorney General Holder, Secretary Napolitano, we are waiting. Do what is right and do it now.