Lautenberg and Menendez Call on President Obama to Grant Temporary Protected Status to Haitians in Wake of Devastating Earthquake

Lautenberg and Menendez Call on President Obama to Grant Temporary Protected Status to Haitians in Wake of Devastating Earthquake

Newark - Following the major earthquake and humanitarian disaster in Haiti, Senators Frank R. Lautenberg (D -NJ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today joined Senate colleagues in calling on President Obama to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Haitian nationals currently residing in the United States. TPS is granted to foreign nationals who cannot safely return to their native country.

"The earthquake that occurred yesterday has devastated the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince and the chaos that has ensued puts all the citizenry of that country at risk. Now is certainly not the time to deport Haitians into an overly burdened country," the Senators wrote. "Haiti clearly meets the criteria for TPS designation and extending it would be one small way to help address this catastrophe, as well as alleviate additional burdens on American assistance workers."

A complete copy of the letter is available here. The letter is also signed by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), John Kerry (D-MA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chris Dodd (D-CT), Paul Kirk (D-MA), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Bob Casey (D-PA),
Charles Schumer (D-NY), Bernie Sanders (D-VT), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Tom Carper (D-DE) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).

The United States granted TPS to Honduras and Nicaragua in 1999, following Hurricane Mitch, and to El Salvador in 2001, following several earthquakes. As the program is designed, TPS would only be available to Haitians already living in the United States.

Americans seeking information about family members in Haiti can call (888) 407-4747. For more information, visit: http://www.state.gov/p/wha/ci/ha/index.htm.


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