From: The Honorable Yvette D. Clarke
Deadline for original cosponsors: COB Today
Cosponsors: Reps. Barbara Lee, Alcee Hastings, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Eliot Engel, Juan Vargas, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Adriano Espaillat
Hurricane Matthew struck western Haiti on October 4, 2016, killing over 1,000 people and causing nearly $2 billion worth of property damage. The hurricane occurred as Haiti was already in the midst of coping with a deadly cholera outbreak that tragically
killed nearly 10,000 people and was brought over by international aid workers who were sent to provide assistance following the 2010 earthquake. The Haitian government reported that the earthquake itself killed more than 250,000 people. These tragic natural
disasters have made living conditions in Haiti extremely difficult and prevented the Haitian people from thriving to their fullest degree.
To make matters worse, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it would commence expedited removal proceedings of Haitians currently in the United States just days before Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti. While DHS suspended these proceedings for a
short period of time following the hurricane, these expedited removal proceedings are now underway. Sending Haitians back to Haiti at this time hinders the recovery process in Haiti by preventing the flow of remittances. It also endangers the lives of Haitians
sent back to their country by potentially exposing them to cholera and other water borne diseases.
To remedy this injustice, I am introducing the Haiti Emergency Relief Act of 2017. The Haiti Emergency Relief Act would provide Temporary Protected Status to the tens of thousands of Haitians currently in the United States without formal legal status. The
TPS designation would accrue to all Haitians present in the U.S. prior to November 4, 2016 and would be valid for 18 months. This date marks a month after Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti. We have repeatedly asked DHS to use its executive authority to address
this matter. However, it is now incumbent upon us to act.
I urge you to raise your voice on behalf of the people of Haiti by becoming an original cosponsor of this necessary piece of legislation. For questions, please contact Harry Baumgarten at
Yvette D. Clarke
Member of Congress