FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 25, 2018

Contact: Sejal Zota, szota@nipnlg.org

(New York, NY) – Today, the National Immigration Project of the NLG and Professor Margaret Satterthwaite filed a Freedom of Information lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of State (DOS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to obtain records documenting the reasons behind the government’s decision to terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians – a decision that imperils the well-being of 58,000 Haitians and their families in the United States.

The administration has resisted coming forward with detailed information or rationale underlying its decision. Further, President Trump continues to make inflammatory and bigoted statements about nationals from Haiti, most recently in meeting in which President Trump called several Caribbean, Central American and African nations “shithole” countries. According to reports, Haiti was specifically mentioned as one of these countries.

"The Administration should stop stalling and respond to our basic questions about a decision that affects tens of thousands of Haitians and their families, many of whom are U.S. citizens."
– Sejal Zota

“The Administration should stop stalling and respond to our basic questions about a decision that affects tens of thousands of Haitians and their families, many of whom are U.S. citizens,” said Sejal Zota, legal director of the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild. “The reports revealing the President’s racist statements about Haiti underscore the need to obtain information about how and why the Administration came to their decision to terminate TPS. The public has a right to know.” The Administration’s decision to terminate Haitian TPS in November 2017 flies in the face of the U.S. government’s own statements about dangerous conditions in Haiti. Last week, the State Department released a travel advisory that suggested reconsidering travel to Haiti due to violent crime and unrest. Several prominent academic institutions have demonstrated that Haiti is not prepared to safely welcome returnees at this time. Reports show that extraordinary conditions, caused by the 2010 earthquake and subsequent disasters, including the outbreak of cholera and Hurricane Matthew, make deporting tens of thousands to Haiti manifestly unsafe.

“The decision to terminate TPS for Haiti flies in the face of reason. The conditions previously supporting TPS remain today: homelessness and displacement caused by natural disaster, a cholera epidemic that continues to kill and sicken Haitian people, hunger made worse by the devastation from Hurricane Matthew, and instability and violence. It’s crucial that we see the basis for this decision, which will tear families apart and put tens of thousands in danger,” said Professor Satterthwaite. 

nipnlg demands justice for haitians

The National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG) promotes justice and equality of treatment in all areas of immigration law and public policies related to immigration.

Professor Margaret Satterthwaite is a professor of clinical law at the New York University (NYU) School of Law. She has published numerous articles and reports concerning human rights in Haiti and regularly travels to Haiti., Professor Satterthwaite directs the Global Justice Clinic. The Clinic’s docket includes work on human rights issues in Haiti and concerning Haitians living in the United States.