Letters to the Editor

Haitians still need protective status

In October 2016, Haiti was once again hit by a severe hurricane; this one left more than 700 dead and the entire Southern peninsula destroyed. From the wreckage arose food insecurity because of crop destruction, leading to severe malnutrition and further exacerbating the imported cholera outbreak that hit the country after the 2010 earthquake.

As the time for the renewal of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) quickly approaches — July 22 — Haitian nationals living in the United States and their families are anxiously awaiting a decision from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). It will take more than 90 days for their permits to be processed, and many are already losing their jobs.

It is in the United States’ national interest to extend TPS for another 24 months. If this country were to deport 58,000 people, it would severely destabilize Haiti and instantly cut off remittances to thousands of families who rely on them for survival.

The 2010 earthquake killed more than 250,000 people and destroyed most of the capital’s infrastructure.

Nearly seven years later, more than 500,000 are still living under tents and in unsafe structures. Months after the United Nations finally took responsibility for introducing cholera to the island, only $2 million of the proposed $400 million needed for infrastructure developments has been raised.

Like most immigrants, Haitians are extremely hard-working individuals who contribute to this country socially, economically, and politically. Students who came after the earthquake surprised many by their fast acculturation and academic achievements.

We need to keep their families whole and thriving toward a successful future.

The Haitian diaspora in the United States urges the Trump administration and DHS to stand with Haiti and its people in their time of greatest need.

Marleine Bastien,

executive director,

Haitian Women of Miami

Nancy Trevino, Communications coodinator,

Haitian Women of Miami