Extend TPS for Haitians in the United States
By U.S. Senator Marco Rubio
November 17, 2017
Health epidemics and deadly natural disasters in recent years have devastated Haiti and hampered its government’s ability to properly function.
Yet our nation — especially my home state of Florida — has not only offered a helping hand to Haitians seeking refuge from these grave challenges, but also benefited significantly from their presence in and contributions to our country.
Since 2010, the United States has designated Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians, recognizing the island country’s perilous conditions brought on by a historic earthquake, a subsequent cholera epidemic, and most recently Hurricane Matthew.
Moreover, the Executive Branch has appropriately extended the TPS designation because of the extraordinarily difficult living conditions that persist in Haiti and the Haitian government’s temporary inability to absorb thousands of people back into the population.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), however, now has until November 23 to make a determination on whether to extend the TPS designation once again.
If TPS is not extended, Haitians sent home will face dire conditions, including lack of housing, inadequate health services and low prospects for employment. Failure to renew the TPS designation will weaken Haiti’s economy and impede its ability to recover completely and improve its security.
South Florida has benefited greatly from the remarkable contributions made by many Haitian Americans in politics, business and culture. I have seen firsthand the potential of the Haitian community when given the opportunity.
Haitians who have been in the United States under TPS have played a significant role in rebuilding their country. Personal contributions from the Haitian community in the U.S. make up nearly 25 percent of Haiti’s gross domestic product. Many Haitians depend on the financial support from family members abroad, which amounted to $2.4 billion in 2016 and has grown steadily every year since 1998.