The Earthquake in Haiti: Another Way to Help

From Wronging Rights:

However, if you can’t give as much as you would like, or find yourself wanting to do more, then I have one further suggestion: contact the White House and tell them that you support granting Haitians Temporary Protected Status (TPS) immediately.

TPS is a form of temporary humanitarian immigration relief given to nationals of countries that have suffered severe disasters, natural or man-made. (For example, El Salvador got TPS was after the country was hit by a terrible earthquake in 2001, Honduras after Hurricane Mitch in 1999, and Burundi, Liberia, Sudan, and Somalia were designated because of ongoing armed conflicts.)

Once a country has been given TPS, its nationals who are in the United States can apply for work authorization (a very useful thing to have if, say, one needs to send money home to family members in need of medical care or a house that has not been reduced to rubble), can’t be deported or put into immigration detention (also quite handy if you’re trying to work and send money home), and can apply for travel authorization, which allows them to visit their home country and return to the US, even if they wouldn’t otherwise have a visa that would allow them back into the country (incredibly important if you have loved ones who have been badly hurt and need to visit them, or if you need to go home to attend funerals).

Designating Haiti for TPS status would provide an immediate, tremendously valuable benefit to Haitian immigrants in the United States. But, more importantly it would benefit their loved ones who remain in Haiti and are in desperate need of their assistance. TPS would increase and stabilize remittances at a time when they are absolutely vital. Equally significantly, especially in the quake’s immediate aftermath, it would allow immigrants to return to Haiti to find and help their loved ones, or to mourn those who they have lost, without jeopardizing their ability to return to the United States and support their surviving family members.

Comments

3 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. lucy,

    Chris, the Red Cross has a website that is supposed to help Haitians in America reconnect with their loved ones who are on the island. I am not sure how it works, but here is the link:
    http://www.familylinks.icrc.org/web/doc/siterfl0.nsf/htmlall/familylinks-haiti-eng?opendocument
    I hope you find that your family there is alright.

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    • Thanks Lucy.

      My family has been able to get in touch with most of the family at this point. It’s not all good news. One of my wife’s cousins was killed when her house collapsed. She was on the phone with her husband at the time and her son was outside playing. Her son wasn’t hurt.

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  2. Anonymous,

    I feel bad for the Earthquake

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