Senator Markey Statement on DHS Decision to Extend Temporary Protected Status to Haitians
After visiting Haiti last year in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, Senator called on Homeland Secretary to extend protections for Haitians residing in the United States
Washington (May 22, 2017) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) today commended the decision by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Haitians residing in the United States and called for extending the protections for an additional year. Haiti, most recently devastated by Hurricane Matthew in August 2016, has been subject to natural and public health disasters, including a cholera epidemic that was introduced by United Nations peacekeepers in 2010 and has taken the lives of more than 80,000 Haitians. Even today, 55,000 Haitians internally displaced by the January 2010 earthquake remain in tent cities with limited access to food and sanitation. The United States Customs and Immigration Service reports that in Calendar Year 2016 a total of 4,735 Haitian TPS recipients were living in Massachusetts, with a nationwide total of 58,706.
“This decision reflects the compassion and generosity of spirit that should be the hallmark of U.S. policy toward Haitians in the United States who are unable to safely return to their homeland,” said Senator Markey, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee. “This six-month extension is a good step, and I urge Secretary Kelly to continue our commitment to Haiti by extending these protections for an additional year. As Haiti works to rebuild after devastating natural and public health disasters, we must continue to give protection to those Haitians who have become active members of our communities and remain critical lifelines for family and loved ones back in their home country.”
Last month, Senator Markey called on Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to extend TPS status of Haitians residing in the United States. In the wake of Hurricane Matthew in October 2016, Senator Markey traveled to Haiti to observe the humanitarian response and assess any public health conditions, including the possible aggravation of Haiti’s cholera epidemic.