Repost – from TransAfrica Forum (Jan 13 2009)
On January 12, 2009, Haiti was rocked by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake, its most severe in 200 years. The city, including communications and transport infrastructure, has suffered “massive damage.” According to Associated Press, the capital is largely destroyed, with widespread loss of life predicted. As nations around the world begin to mobilize relief, research and recovery efforts for Haiti, the U.S. must end the deportation of Haitian immigrants, release those currently held in detention centers pending deportation, and grant Temporary Protected Status for the 30,000 currently under threat of deportation.
Since January 2009 U.S. immigration judges have issued deportation orders to over 30,000 undocumented Haitians. The Department of Homeland Security should immediately halt the arrests of these deportees and grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Haitians in the United States and conduct a full review of its policy towards Haiti. Temporary protected status (TPS) is granted by the United States (Homeland Security Department) to eligible nationals of countries that cannot safely return to their homelands because of armed conflict, environmental disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions. Haiti clearly fits this description.