Temporary Protected Status Designation Offers Haitians a Lifeline

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haiti_tps_fuchs_01Jesuit Refugee Service/USA applauded the decision by the United States today to allow  Haitians currently in the U.S. the legal status to remain  in the US, to work and to send remittances home. JRS thanked their supporters and the Ignatian Community for taking action on this issue and letting the administration know that our community supports Temporary Protected Status/TPS as a component of a comprehensive humanitarian response to the disaster in Haiti. Granting Temporary Protected Status to Haitians already here will give them a chance to stay temporarily on our shores as they await a moment when they can return home in safety and dignity

The Jesuit Refugee Service office in Haiti has witnessed firsthand how little is available to address the overwhelming needs facing the Haitian population. Following the recent earthquake, hundreds of thousands of Haitians have been forced from their homes and  lack the most basic services and supplies. With  schools, hospitals road and bridges in ruins Haiti is in no position to offer support  to returnees.

Religious leaders who minister to Haitian communities throughout Haiti report continued water shortages, food shortages, an increasingly desperate population, and the inability of the Haitian government to fill the urgent needs of quake survivors.

Jesuit Fr. Kawas Francois, the Jesuit leader in Haiti, told us yesterday that “People lack everything: water, food, blankets and tents. They sleep in the streets. The dead are in the streets and under the rubble. Sanitary conditions are deteriorating.”

Congress established Temporary Protected Status to grant safety to foreign nationals in just such circumstances as those that currently face Haiti. The destruction caused by the earthquake in Haiti has made the safe return of Haitian nationals to their country impossible.

TPS will allow Haitians currently here to stay and work temporarily in the United States, as a response to the natural disasters that have recently plagued the country. Remittances from Haitians granted TPS will allow more than $1 billion in aid  to be sent to family members families still suffering on the island. As the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti already depends significantly on remittances. By allowing some 30,000 Haitians to work and send remittances to 150,000 to 300,000 persons in Haiti, the despair of an entire country will be reduced.

National Jesuit News is urging people to give to the Jesuit organization Jesuit Refugee Service to help those in Haiti.

To support JRS/USA’s humanitarian response to the emergency needs of the Haitian people, please click here to be directed to their secure website and choose “Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund.”

Or you may send a check to:

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA
1016 16th Street NW Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036

Checks should be made payable to “Jesuit Refugee Service/USA.”
Please clearly note “Haiti Earthquake Relief” in the memo field on the check.

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