Conyers: TPS Extension Will Significantly Support Haiti Recovery and Save Thousands of Lives
(Washington) – Today, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) commended Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano for granting his request for an extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti nationals. Effective July 23, 2011, the extension will allow eligible Haiti nationals to remain in the U.S. for an additional 18 months and expand TPS designation to Haitians who arrived to the U.S. up to one year after the earthquake.
“This TPS extension and re-designation further solidifies U.S. commitment to uphold our responsibility to assist the country of Haiti as they continue to recover from last year’s tragedy,” said Conyers. “We believe such re-designation is warranted given the scale of the devastation in Haiti, the slow pace of recovery, and the new challenges that have arisen in Haiti over the past year.
“On January 12, 2010, Haiti experienced an earthquake and a resulting tsunami of catastrophic proportions that killed over 250,000 people, displaced 1.3 million (more than one-tenth of Haiti’s total population) and caused upwards of $14 billion in economic damage. In the face of such devastation, the U.S. government acted swiftly to protect Haitian nationals residing in the United States by designating Haiti for TPS.
“Unfortunately, as Haiti has been attempting to recover from the earthquake, it has seen additional, unwanted challenges. In October 2010, Haiti was hit with a virulent cholera outbreak. Since then, thousands of Haitians have died and hundreds of thousands more have been sickened. The strain of cholera, which can kill in just a few hours, has put further strain on the already fragile medical system.
“Recognizing the dangerous and unpredictable situation in Haiti, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has acted accordingly to best assist the 50,000 Haitian nationals currently living in the United States through this TPS extension.”