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Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Representing the 43rd District of California

Rep. Waters’ Statement on the Termination of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti

November 21, 2017
Press Release

Rep. Waters’ Statement on the Termination of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, released the following statement in response to the decision announced by Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke to terminate the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Haiti effective July 22, 2019, following an 18-month delay: 

“As a long-time friend of Haiti, I am deeply dismayed by the decision of Elaine Duke, the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, to terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti, effective July 22, 2019.  This senseless and heartless decision creates fear and uncertainty for 50,000 Haitians who have been living and working lawfully in the United States for many years.

“Having visited Haiti numerous times during my tenure in Congress, I can say from personal experience that Haiti is in no position to accept the return of 50,000 people over the next 18 months.  Haiti is still struggling to recover from the devastating 2010 earthquake, which killed more than 300,000 people and displaced more than one million people from their homes.  Haiti’s recovery has been hampered by a continuing cholera epidemic and several severe storms, including Hurricane Matthew in October of 2016 and Hurricanes Irma and Maria this year.

“While Secretary Duke stated in her announcement that the number of displaced people in Haiti has decreased by 97 percent since the earthquake, this by no means justifies forcing 50,000 people to return to Haiti, where there is still a severe shortage of housing and widespread unemployment.

“Haitian TPS beneficiaries directly contribute to the American economy.  They work, pay taxes, spend money, and contribute to the Social Security and Medicare systems.  About 30 percent are homeowners, stimulating the real estate industry and paying local property taxes.  One in nine in the labor force is self-employed, and many of them have created jobs for others in their communities.  Indeed, a recent report found that the termination of Haitian TPS would cost the United States $2.8 billion over a decade in lost gross domestic product. 

“Haitian TPS beneficiaries have been fully integrated into their communities.  Many of them have children who are U.S. citizens.  They deserve to be treated with compassion and respect.  I will continue working tirelessly to protect all of the law-abiding Haitians who live and work in American communities.”

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