During the September Leadership Team, we learned about the insecure situation of many Haitian immigrants to the United States, including a number of families who are members of our neighbor, Grace and Faith Christian Church.
The future for tens of thousands of Haitian immigrants remains unclear as the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation allowing them to remain in the United States is set to expire on January 22, 2018. The U.S. government added Haiti to the list of TPS designation countries after a 2010 earthquake that caused tens of thousands of deaths and the displacement of more than 1.5 million people. More than 58,000 Haitian immigrants already in the United States prior to the 2010 earthquake have been granted TPS, which provides work authorization and relief from deportation
In May 2017, following the announcement of the most recent six-month extension, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly advised TPS holders to use the time to “prepare for and arrange their departure” in case the designation is not renewed. Haiti’s recovery has been hampered by Hurricane Matthew and a severe cholera outbreak (caused by a United Nations Peacekeeping Force), in addition to political instability and deep poverty. (The Migration Policy Institute and the New York Times http://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/haitian-immigrants-united-states
Some local families, anticipating that their status will not be renewed, have left their jobs, sold their homes and moved to Canada. Others are wondering what will happen to them after January.
How can you help? You can contact your elected representatives, including the White House, to ask that the TPS for people from Haiti be extended. Also, as a sign of compassion, we would like to create prayer shawls for members of Grace and Faith Church. Instructions are on the table in the church entry and are also available on the FUMC website.
Our goal is to have 15 ready by Thanksgiving.
Instructions available HERE