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November 26, 2008: Hastings Urges President-elect Obama to Grant Haitians TPS Upon Taking Office

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, U.S. Representative Alcee L. Hastings (D-Miramar) wrote to President-elect Barack Obama urging him to make granting Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Haitians a priority in his new Administration.

"The people of Haiti cannot afford to wait a single day longer for this much needed assistance," Representative Hastings stated.  "While I continue to hope that our current President will finally acknowledge and address the dire plight of the Haitian people, it is important that the next Administration be made aware of the importance of TPS.

"President-elect Obama was elected on a platform of renewing America's global leadership.  By extending TPS to Haiti, as we have done for other nations in similar situations, our new President will once again prove that the strength of America is not simply the might of its military but also its capacity for compassion."

Representative Hastings is a leader in the fight to end double-standard immigration practices as they pertain to Haitian migrants.  He is the author of H.R. 522, the Haitian Protection Act, legislation which would designate Haitian nationals in the United States as eligible for TPS.  Representative Hastings has been calling for the extension of TPS to Haitian nationals for years and has been continuously engaged in correspondence with the Bush Administration on this matter.

The text of Representative Hastings' letter follows:


November 26, 2008

The Honorable Barack Obama
461 6th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20270

Dear Mr. President-elect:

Haiti has suffered compounding national crises over the course of this past year.  Most recently, the two school collapses in Petionville and Port-au-Prince have once again shown us the devastating consequences of Haiti's fragile infrastructure.

As you are reviewing Executive Orders issued by the current Administration, many of which have certainly been misguided, I urge you to consider issuing an Executive Order upon taking office granting Haitian nationals Temporary Protected Status (TPS).  TPS is the least expensive, most immediate form of humanitarian assistance the United States can provide, as it allows the Haitian government to invest all of its limited resources in the rebuilding and redevelopment of its severely strained physical and economic infrastructure. 

In keeping with your promise to renew America's global leadership, I respectfully ask that you allow Haitians to sustain and rebuild their country by granting Haitian nationals currently residing in the United States TPS.  I thank you for your consideration and look forward to working with you and your Administration on this and other matters of mutual concern.



Alcee L. Hastings

Member of Congress 

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