New York Caribbean-American Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, has introduced new legislation in effort to protect Hatian nationals living in the U.S.
The Haiti Emergency Relief Act of 2017 will expand the Temporary Protected Status program to include all Haitian nationals who were in the country prior to November 4, 2016.
Temporary Protected Status for Haitians was first established in 2010 after Haiti’s devastating earthquake, but the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) refuses to grant it to Haitians who arrived in the U.S. after 2011 – which excludes thousands of people whom it would benefit.
Clarke says the program was created based on need, and due to the extensive damage of Hurricane Matthew last year, the need is still present.
She first introduced the new legislation – which will grant 18 months of Temporary Protected Status to eligible Haitians, to the Obama Administration last November, asking for an immediate halt to deporting undocumented Haitians who have not been convicted of a serious crime or present a threat to national security.
Daughter of Jamaican immigrants, Yvette D. Clarke – who represents the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, is joined in the effort by Brooklyn Council Member Dr. Mathieu Eugene, the first Haitian elected to the City Council.
Dr. Eugene says the new legislation will help lessen the burden on Haiti as it continues its rebuilding process, and help alleviate it’s humanitarian crisis by providing Haitians living abroad the opportunity to remain in a stable environment.