Dear Secretary Mayorkas,
We write to request that the Administration extend and redesignate Temporary Protected Status ("TPS") to Haiti due to the extraordinary and temporary conditions facing the country. Specifically, we urge an extension for TPS beneficiaries not affected by Ramos v. Mayorkas, and redesignation so that those who arrived after July 29, 2021 can benefit.
Haiti is currently experiencing one of its worst outbreaks of violence in decades. The rule of law has effectively collapsed. Powerful gangs rule with impunity, and in some cases with government complicity, as demonstrated by recent sanctions imposed by the U.S. and Canada on current and former Presidents of the Haitian Senate, and by Canada on former President Michel Martelly and two former prime ministers. For months, a gang blockade at Haiti's principal fuel terminal crippled day-to-day operations, severely restricting the movement of medicine, food and supplies. The situation paralyzed an already crippled economy in the country, where the inflation rate reached a staggering 30%. This has all occurred amid a resurgence of cholera in the country, particularly in Haiti's National Penitentiary in Port-au-Prince. Since October, the disease has killed at least 100 people and sickened 8,000 more, though experts say the numbers are likely higher.
Given the deteriorating situation in Haiti, this Administration should prioritize humanitarian relief, especially given the positive impact that extending and redesignating Haiti for TPS will have for our nation. Approximately 80% of Haitians currently in the U.S. are in the labor force and contribute over $2.6 billion to our economy each year. At a time when we have labor shortages and high inflation, they are on the frontlines providing essential services to our nation. Moreover, redesignating Haiti for TPS would allow more Haitian nationals in the U.S. to contribute their skills and talents to the American workforce.
As Haitians face an unprecedented crisis in their home country, we strongly urge the Administration to extend the 2021 designation and redesignate Haiti for TPS, swiftly release the Federal Register Notice, and provide a minimum 180-day registration period for both current TPS holders and new beneficiaries under redesignation. We thank you for your commitment to these issues, and look forward to engaging further.