Haitian Legislator Reiterates Appeal to Extend TPS
NEW YORK, United States (CMC) | A Haitian-born legislator in New York has reiterated his appeal to US President Donald Trump to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for undocumented Haitians living in the United States.
Dr Mathieu Eugene, who represents the predominantly Caribbean 40th Council District in Brooklyn, New York, told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) on Saturday that he will be joined Sunday at a rally in Brooklyn by immigration advocates, elected officials, clergy members and constituents reiterating their calls on the Trump administration to extend the status granted to almost 60,000 Haitians. Eugene, the first Haitian to be elected to New York City Council, said he will also re-launch an online petition requesting that the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) grant an 18-month extension of TPS for Haitians and protect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Programme (DACA), initiated by former US President Barack Obama that Trump plans to rescind. TPS for Haitians is set to expire in January.
Eugene said the online petition has amassed over 30,000 signatures “and has brought much-needed attention to the plight of thousands of immigrants seeking to remain in the US.”
In May, DHS issued a six-month extension of TPS for Haitians, stating that eligible Haitian nationals must be prepared to return to the French-speaking Caribbean country in January 2018.
Eugene said the DHS will formally declare next month if it will keep the sixmonth extension in place or if it will grant a longer extension to TPS recipients. The petition also requests support for recipients of the DACA immigration programme, which currently protects over one million young Caribbean and other immigrants, who came to the United States as children, from deportation. In 2009, Eugene said he “successfully introduced” legislation in New York City Council in support of TPS Haitians. He said he has continued to lobby for its renewal in subsequent years.
Despite being granted TPS, Eugene said Haiti has “suffered additional devastation from four tropical storms, an outbreak of cholera, and, most recently, a destructive hurricane.
“Haiti cannot withstand an influx of over 58,000 people, who would be forced to return to the country if TPS is not extended,” he told CMC.
“That is why I am asking the community to sign this petition and let the federal government know that we need to continue this humanitarian gesture. TPS recipients are valued members of our community; they hold jobs and work hard to contribute to our community, our city, and our country,” he added.
“We are also here to support the DREAMERS, young people in the immigrant community, who came here with their families in pursuit of the American dream,” Eugene continued.
“This is their homeland; we must do all we can to ensure that their ability to receive an education and pursue their career ambitions is protected under the DACA program.”