5 million out of Haiti's 8.5 million people homeless

Publié le par hort

http://www.margueri telaurent. com/campaigns/ campaigntwo/ TPS_08.html# urgentTPS

5 million out of Haiti's 8.5 million people homeless, without food, water...


"...With the press reporting 5 million out of Haiti's 8.5 million people homeless, without water, food or shelter, if there was ever a time for the federal government to grant this status it is now. These successive September, 2008 storms and hurricanes - Fay, Gustav, Hanna, Ike - have not only left multitudes homeless but have destroyed any hope of Haiti domestically ameliorating the massive starvation that the world became aware of with the April food riots, by utterly flooding out Haiti's food crops in the Artibonite breadbasket area of Haiti.

Deporting Haitians to Haiti under these circumstances is wrong and will further exacerbates the human tragedy which is only beginning to be measured as flood waters recede. Haiti survives, not only foreign aid as commonly believed but through the 2 billion remittances sent from Haitian living abroad.
No other national group anywhere in the world sends money home in higher proportion than Haitians living abroad. By continuing to deport Haitians at this time, the US Government cruelly and inhumanely decreases the amount of this critical and direct support to Haitians in Haiti, who would otherwise starve and die. Continued deportations also increase the stress on Haiti already fragile economy and environmental crisis by sending thousands of people back to a hurricane-wounded land without homes, jobs and food. The US government maintains that granting TPS to put a moratorium on deportations to Haiti could induce mass migrations. This evidences unequal treatment of Haitians.

TPS has been granted in the past to nationals of Sudan, Liberia, Guinea-Bissau, Somalia, Burundi, Bosnia-Herzegovina, El Salvador and Guatemala due to political unrest in those countries. TPS was granted to Hondurans and Nicaraguans after Hurricane Mitch in 1998 and to Salvadorans after an earthquake in 2001. In 1997 President Clinton granted Haitian nationals
deferral enforced departure from the United States. This did not induce mass migration of Haitians to the United States. The facts do not support the US position and exhibits an arbitrary, capricious and unfair double standards with regards to the applications of (HLLN Urgent Action Alert: Help the people of Gonaives, Haiti directly - Also, ask for TPS for Haitians nationals )



HLLN Urgent Action Alert:

Help the people of Gonaive, Haiti directly Also, ask for TPS for Haitians nationals


The Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network is supporting the efforts of the non-profit organization Ajoupa from New York in helping to raise funds to help the people of Gonaives ravaged by tropical storms Fay, Gustav, Hanna and Ike.

A few containers with food, supplies, water purification tablets, medical kits will be sent out from New York earmarked directly for the storm victims in Gonaives. If you'd like to assist with money and other necessary donations, please call Mrs. Alina Sixto of Ajoupa at 386 - 986 - 6089 or 203- 856- 8052. Help the people of Gonaive directly by assisting in this effort. (You may wish to cc: any donation submissions amounts to erzilidanto@ yahoo.com so we may keep track of the amount raised through our Network and follow up with a list of donors in further postings.) Thank you.

In addition, please consider sending a letter and calling President Bush and your local congressional representative asking that the United States stop deportations to Haiti because it is not safe and grant Haitians in the US temporary protected status. A suggested
sample letter is below and may also be found on our website.

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) will permit Haitians presently in the United States to reside here and qualify for work authorization for 18 months. It would thus guarantee their well-being and safety until the country has recovered from the four recent storms and there is less famine and instability crisis throughout the country.

With the press reporting 5 million people homeless, without water, food or shelter, if there was ever a time for the federal government to grant this status it is now. These successive September, 2008 storms and hurricanes - Fay, Gustav, Hanna, Ike - have not only left multitudes homeless but have destroyed any hope of Haiti domestically ameliorating the massive starvation that the world became aware of with the April food riots, by utterly flooding out Haiti's food crops in the Artibonite breadbasket area of Haiti.

Deporting Haitians to Haiti under these circumstances is wrong and will further exacerbates the human tragedy which is only beginning to be measured as flood waters recede. Haiti survives, not only foreign aid as commonly believed but through the 2 billion remittances sent from Haitian living abroad.
No other national group anywhere in the world sends money home in higher proportion than Haitians living abroad
. By continuing to deport Haitians at this time, the US Government cruelly and inhumanely decreases the amount of this critical and direct support to Haitians in Haiti, who would otherwise starve and die. Continued deportations also increase the stress on Haiti already fragile economy and environmental crisis by sending thousands of people back to a hurricane-wounded land without homes, jobs and food. The US government maintains that granting TPS to put a moratorium on deportations to Haiti could induce mass migrations. This evidences unequal treatment of Haitians.

TPS has been granted in the past to nationals of Sudan, Liberia, Guinea-Bissau, Somalia, Burundi, Bosnia-Herzegovina, El Salvador and Guatemala due to political unrest in those countries. TPS was granted to Hondurans and Nicaraguans after Hurricane Mitch in 1998 and to Salvadorans after an earthquake in 2001. In 1997 President Clinton granted Haitian nationals
deferral enforced departure
from the United States. This did not induce mass migration of Haitians to the United States. The facts do not support the US position and exhibits an arbitrary, racist and unfair double standards with regards to the applications of the laws as regards to Haitian nationals in the US by the US government.

Marguerite Laurent, Esq.
Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network
September 8, 2008
(Last updated Sept. 9, 2008)

Notes:
Recommended links for HLLN's Campaign Two
:
Equal Treatment for Haitian refugees, stop deportations, grant TPS, justice for the ill treated Haitian asylum seekers


Contact info for
Local and national media


US Media contact info
Congressional contact info


*********************

HLLN Urgent Action Alert - Ask President Bush to help in Haiti's Recovery efforts by granting TPS to Haitian nationals
 
CALL and/or WRITE THE PRESIDENT AND SECRETARY CHERTOFF IMMEDIATELY
(A sample letter follows). Send a copy of your letter to your local congressional representative also asking they write to President Bush asking for TPS with a acopy of the media. For contact info for your
congressional rep and local and national media.
Sample Letter


The Honorable George W. Bush
President of the United States
The White House
Washington, DC 20500
Phone: 202 456-1111
Fax: 202-456-2461

The Honorable Michael Chertoff
Secretary, Department of Homeland Security
2001 Independence Ave, SW
Washington, DC 20528
Phone: 202-282-8000
Fax: 202-282-8401
Homeland Security Comment Line: 202 282 8495

DATE: Sept. ____, 2008

Dear President George W. Bush / Secretary Micheal Chertoff

Please designate the country of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for a period of 18 months. The latest reports indicate that as many as 1,000 people and counting, have died in Haiti after floodwaters raged through the island with an estimated five million people homeless, without food, water and shelter, including more than 300,000 left homeless in the city of Gonaives alone in the wake of four back-to-back tropical storms (Fay, Gustav, Hanna and Ike) with Josephine yet to hit. Tens of thousands of people have been driven from their homes, several bridges have been washed out and the succession of storms have made roads inaccessible with thousands of people stranded on rooftops and living without any access to food, water or shelter. The country of Haiti and in particular the coastal city of Gonaives has still to recover from the consequences of storm Jeanne and the other hurricanes that has followed it since 2004.

Over 3,000 Haitians died in Gonaives after floodwaters raged through Haiti in the wake of tropical storm Jeanne back in September of 2004 and over 3,000 had perished near the Haiti / Dominican Republic border in May of 2004.

These grave and cumulative natural disasters coupled to Haiti's environmental degradation, lack of infrastructure and with the present hunger/famine and instability conditions warrant granting TPS to assure the safety of Haitians presently in the United States.

TPS would permit Haitians presently in the United States to remain here and qualify for work authorization. Eighteen months of TPS will assure their safety until the country recovers from these severe storm damages, and assist Haitians who depend on the remittances sent from family living abroad to survive in Haiti.

TPS program was established to provide protection to people who are temporarily unable to return to their homelands. Please help the people in Haiti by permitting their friends and relatives in the United States to remain here and to continue to send support to a nation in severe crisis. Please affirm the United States tradition of caring for and protecting persons in vulnerable situations by granting TPS to Haitians.

Sincerely,
Your name and contact information
************ *
cc: Marguerite Laurent, Esq.
President, Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network (HLLN)
Phone: (203) 829-7210
e-mail: ezilidanto@yahoo. com
www.ezilidanto. com
Background information

- Miami Herald Audio Slideshow - Haiti's human wreckage

-
Photos - PATRICK FARRELL / MIAMI HERALD:
Cabaret, Haiti
- A woman weeps as the lifeless bodies of twelve children that died in flooding caused by Hurricane Ike are loaded onto a truck and carried away to the morgue.

-
Photo Gallery | Hurricane Ike strikes Cabaret, Haiti


-
Photo- Frantz Samedi had searched for his 5-year-old for two hours, trudging through heaps of storm debris and muddy water, calling her name, ``Tamasha, Tamasha!''

-
Haitian family recalls `darkest night'


-
Hurricane Ike kills dozens in Haiti

-
After Hurricane Ike, Haiti needs `flood of helicopters'

-
In rain-soaked Haiti, no identifying the dead

-
Recommended links for HLLN's Campaign Two: Equal Treatment for Haitian refugees, stop deportations, grant TPS, justice for the ill treated Haitian asylum seekers


http://www.haitiact ion.net/News/ MW/9_11_8. html
Maxine Waters asks her colleagues for emergency disaster assistance for Haiti
Friday, September 12, 2008


Congresswoman Maxine Waters is circulating a letter among Members of Congress in support of emergency disaster assistance for Haiti.
The letter asks the Speaker of the House of Representatives to provide at least $300 million in appropriations for disaster assistance for Haiti following the devastating hurricanes that swept through that impoverished country.

The following Members of Congress have already agreed to sign the letter: Maxine Waters, Bill Delahunt, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Barbara Lee, John Conyers, Charles Rangel, Kendrick Meek, Raul Grijalva, Louise Slaughter, Elijah Cummings, Jerrold Nadler, Corrine Brown, Diane E. Watson, Neil Abercrombie, William Jefferson, Jim Langevin, Bennie Thompson, James E. Clyburn, Carolyn B. Maloney, Dennis Kucinich, Edolphus Towns, Sanford Bishop, Bobby Rush, Al Green, Danny K. Davis, G. K. Butterfield, Chaka Fattah, C. A. Ruppersberger, Howard Berman, Henry Waxman, Sheila Jackson-Lee, James L. Oberstar, Peter A. DeFazio, Emanuel Cleaver, Donald Payne, Donna Christensen, Gwen Moore, Yvette D. Clarke, Donna F. Edwards.

The text of the letter is below.

September 11, 2008

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House
H-232 Capitol Building
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Speaker Pelosi:

We are writing to request that you include at least $300 million in appropriations for disaster assistance for Haiti following the devastating hurricanes that swept through that impoverished country.

Over the past month, Haiti has been devastated by four deadly storms in rapid succession, Tropical Storm Fay, Hurricane Gustav, Tropical Storm Hanna, and Hurricane Ike. On Monday, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) reported that 15,134 houses have been damaged or destroyed, and 154 people have been killed. As the flood waters began to recede, additional bodies have been found and buried. Tragically, the death toll may never be known.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), up to 800,000 people in Haiti are in dire need of humanitarian assistance. As of September 6th, more than 100,000 people had taken refuge in temporary shelters – and this was before the onslaught of Hurricane Ike. Many roads and bridges have been damaged or destroyed, and crops have been lost. There is a desperate need for food, water, and health services.

Haiti is already the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. It does not have the capacity to respond to the widespread death and destruction caused by storms of this magnitude. Immediate assistance from the United States is critical to meet the emergency needs of the Haitian people and begin to rebuild damaged homes and infrastructure.

We urge you to provide an appropriation of at least $300 million in disaster assistance for Haiti in the supplemental appropriations bill or another legislative vehicle that will be passed before Congress adjourns, and we look forward to working with you to help the people of Haiti rebuild their homes and their lives after these unprecedented storms.

Sincerely,


http://www.miamiher ald.com/news/ broward/breaking -news/story/ 683591.html
Kendrick Meek blasts deportations to storm-hit Haiti

Leslie Clark
Fri, Sep. 12, 2008


WASHINGTON -- En route to Haiti to see storm devastation, Rep. Kendrick Meek assailed the White House Friday for continuing to deport Haitians in the U.S. to the storm-wracked island. ''It's gone far beyond reason for the administration not to give Haiti some relief,'' said the Miami Democrat, who has asked the White House to grant Haitians in the United States temporary protected status to keep them here while the island nation grapples with the effects of four hurricanes.

He suggested Haiti ''over-qualifies' ' for the designation, bestowed when the U.S. government determines eligible nationals are temporarily unable to safely return to their home country because of ongoing conflicts, environmental disasters or other ``extraordinary and temporary conditions.' ''It is really cruel for the United States to do this, especially now under these circumstances, '' said Meek, who has repeatedly asked for the designation.  Raymond Joseph, Haiti's ambassador to the United States, joined Meek at the Capitol, and said the country is ill-prepared to receive those deported. ''This is no time for the U.S. to be sending back Haitians to the country,'' Joseph said.
``Where are they going to stay? They're going to land in the water. We don't even have beds for them.''

Meek also warned that Haiti's ''fragile'' state could pose a risk to the United States and South Florida in particular if desperate Haitians begin putting together boats to leave the island. ''We have to move in a proactive way so we can avoid that from happening,'' he said. He and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus are asking for $300 million in emergency assistance to the island along with emergency bridges to help the island piece together flooded areas. Joseph said he ran into Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at a 9/11 ceremony and asked her about the bridges. 'She said, `I talked to President Bush about it.' So I expect to see those bridges.''

Meek said he hopes to share his experiences in Haiti with other members of Congress to shake out more aid to the island nation. ''Right now it's about recovery,'' Meek said. ``We need assistance right now. People are saying they've never seen anything like this before. There are some parts of Haiti [where] you can't even land a helicopter, let alone a plane. They're cut off.''

House Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., the dean of the Congressional Black Caucus, said he's asked Homeland Security director Michael Chertoff for temporary protected status, noting that Haitians on the island receive billions of dollars from family members living in the United States. He said he's also called for the United States and the World Bank to cancel Haiti's debt repayment. Conyers noted the administration has pledged $19.5 million in aid and provided an amphibious vehicle, which he called a ``step in the right direction but not nearly enough.''  ''Haiti was already struggling economically prior to this barrage of four horrendous storms in a matter of weeks,'' he said. ``Piecemeal aid is insufficient. Comprehensive assistance must be provided immediately. ''

Publié dans African diaspora

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