Correspondence of the Congressional Black Caucus :
"Dear Acting Secretary Duke,
On May 24, the Department of Homeland Security re-designated Haiti for 6 months of Temporary Protected Status, rather than the fllll 18 months requcsted by the Government of Haiti, Haiti experts in the United States, the Congressional Black Caucus, and others. This decision was against the weight of the facts on the ground, which included Haiti's food scarcity crisis, cholern epidemic, and the ongoing challenges posed by the unprecedented 2010 earthquake. We write again to encourage DHS to fully extend Haiti's TPS designation for 18 months by the November 23 deadline in light of the clear conditions that justify such continued treatment, including the damage caused by Hurricanes lrma and Maria, which has exacerbated these conditions.
As recently as October 4, 2017, the Haitian Ambassador to the United States wrote to you to formally request a full 18-month re-designation in light of the ongoing economic and humanitarian conditions that lIaiti's citizens face each day. In that Idter, the Ambassador explicitly statcd that the goal of this request was to allow Haiti to recover from the effects of the earthquake, cholera epidemic, and Hurricanes Matthew, Irma, and Maria so as to continue with Haiti's recovery efforts and to become more independent of American assistance in the long tenn. The Ambassador also graciously invited you to visit Haiti and see such conditions for yourself: A government does not undertake such action lightly and tltis requcst should merit considerable weight.
A recent independent statutory analysis of Haiti's qualification for TPS confirmed the validity of the govermnent's concerns, fiding that the conditions that justified Haiti's 2011 re-designation remain. The analysis found that nearly 40,000 Haitians uprooted by the 2010 earthquake arc officially displaced and that many more likely remain unofficiaUy displaced in dangerously inadequate shelters. The cholera epidemic that was tragically caused by international efforts to aid Haiti in 2010 more than doubled following Hurricane Matthew and is expected to directly affect more than 30,000 people by the end of 2017. Hurrican Matthew also exacerbated the food insecurity crisis in Haiti, placing 2.4 million Haitians - 22 percent of its population - in the grips of an acute food insecurity crisis. Based on these clear facts, the analysis tightfully Concluded that it is in the best interests of Haiti and the United States to re-designate Haiti for another 18 months of TPS because it continues to face extraordinary and temporary conditions stenulling from the 2010 earthquake and worsened by subsequent events that justify such relief.
Despite these serious challenges, the Haitian govemment has been working diligently for years to improec its cconomy, public heallh conditions, and infrastructure in coordination with the United States government and international community. In order to accomplish this task, Haiti relies in large part on remittances that its citizens receive from TPS beneficiaries in the United States. Therefore, the negative consequences of terminating Haiti's TPS designation would be twofold. It would end essential remittances that significantly contribute to Haiti's recovery while also forcing the poorest republic in the Westem Hemisphere to absorb the cost of reintegrating thousands of citizens all at once. Such actions could be catastrophic to Haiti's recovery efforts and run counter to Congressional efforts to improve American rclations in the region through the recently-passed United States-Caribbean Strategic Engagement Act (Puhlic Law 114-291).
Finally, it is essential to note that Haitian TPS benenificiaries directly contribute to the United States. They pay taxes, spend money, contribute to Social Security and Medicare, and help promote American prosperity in numerous sectors, such as the restaurant and food scrvice, construction, and hospitality industries. About 30 percent of TPS beneficiaries are homeowners, stimulating the real estate industry and contributing to the local properly tax base. Also, one in nine TPS beneficiaries in the labor force is self-employed, meaning they not only create johs for themselves, but likely create jobs for others. A recent report found that the expiration of Haitian TPS would cost America $2.8 billion over a decade in lost gross domestic product.
For these reasons, we urge you in the strongest terms to take advantage of the full amount of time granted by Congress to study the conditions on the ground and reach the only appropriate decision - a full 18-month re-designation of Haiti's TPS designation.