For Immediate Release: Congresswoman Maxine Waters’ Statement on the Termination of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 21, 2017
Contact: Twaun Samuel or Rykia Dorsey
Phone: (202) 225-2201
Rep. Waters’ Statement on the Termination of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti
WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, released the following statement in response to the decision announced by Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke to terminate the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Haiti effective July 22, 2019, following an 18-month delay:
“As a long-time friend of Haiti, I am deeply dismayed by the decision of Elaine Duke, the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, to terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti, effective July 22, 2019. This senseless and heartless decision creates fear and uncertainty for 50,000 Haitians who have been living and working lawfully in the United States for many years.
“Having visited Haiti numerous times during my tenure in Congress, I can say from personal experience that Haiti is in no position to accept the return of 50,000 people over the next 18 months. Haiti is still struggling to recover from the devastating 2010 earthquake, which killed more than 300,000 people and displaced more than one million people from their homes. Haiti’s recovery has been hampered by a continuing cholera epidemic and several severe storms, including Hurricane Matthew in October of 2016 and Hurricanes Irma and Maria this year.
“While Secretary Duke stated in her announcement that the number of displaced people in Haiti has decreased by 97 percent since the earthquake, this by no means justifies forcing 50,000 people to return to Haiti, where there is still a severe shortage of housing and widespread unemployment.
“Haitian TPS beneficiaries directly contribute to the American economy. They work, pay taxes, spend money, and contribute to the Social Security and Medicare systems. About 30 percent are homeowners, stimulating the real estate industry and paying local property taxes. One in nine in the labor force is self-employed, and many of them have created jobs for others in their communities. Indeed, a recent report found that the termination of Haitian TPS would cost the United States $2.8 billion over a decade in lost gross domestic product.
“Haitian TPS beneficiaries have been fully integrated into their communities. Many of them have children who are U.S. citizens. They deserve to be treated with compassion and respect. I will continue working tirelessly to protect all of the law-abiding Haitians who live and work in American communities.”
Senior Legislative Assistant
Rep. Maxine Waters
2221 Rayburn Building
ASSASSINATION attempt against former president of Haiti, Jean Bertrand Aristide by Haitian National police “BIM” units
Hundreds of thousands of supporters of former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide and FANMI LAVALAS were in the streets today, protecting the former president from the murderous Brigade d’intervention Motorisee or (BIM) unit of the Haitian National Police, responsible for the 3/20/2017 assassination attempt on the former president’s life. Note that their uniforms say SWAT, just like the militarized police that kill Afrikans in the U.S. Photos are courtesy of the Haiti Information Project
Displaying their usual murderous arrogance, U.S./UN trained and supervised Haitian National Police Brigade d’intervention Motorisee (BIM) units attacked the motorcade and supporters of former president of Haiti, Jean-Bertrand Aristide in a blatant but failed assassination attempt.
According to eyewitness accounts and reports on Radio Timoun, the former president’s car was fired on as he responded to a fake court summons that we now know was a trap.
Thankfully, hundreds of thousands of people had mobilized to accompany the much beloved former president to the courthouse, and were able to foil the assassination attempt.
The court’s “invitation” was for former President Aristide to appear as a witness in a case that he has nothing to do with. The case in question appears to be a frame up of Jean Anthony Nazaire, one of the defenders of the national palace who was gravely wounded during the failed U.S. instigated, December 17, 2001, coup d’etat against President Aristide, led by the recently arrested drug running/money laundering, and fraudulently elected ex-senator Guy Phillipe.
There was a great deal of concern that the 10:00 a.m. Monday morning, 3/20/2017 court appearance, though innocently perceived, was a continuance of the state sanctioned persecution of President Aristide and FANMI LAVALAS.
There was therefore, a great deal of concern for the former president’s safety. Many suspected a nefarious purpose behind these repeated excuses to constantly drag him through Haiti’s (in)justice system. As it turns out – again – the instincts and experience of the people were true. As the former president’s car arrived, police opened fire into a huge crowd.
Massive protests against police are gathering in Port au Prince, Haiti in response to the attack on former president Aristide’s motorcade.
Reports are that several supporters and security guards were gravely injured.
FANMI LAVALAS is calling for calm and to avoid police.
Now, more than ever, we must remain vigilante.
Also watch Kevin Pina’s latest documentary “Haiti: We Must Kill the Bandits”: http://bit.ly/eWFDLd
Few Haitians, scholars and historians have had the opportunity to hear and study the full speech of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide on September 27, 1991. The speech was mired in controversy after Raymond Joseph, current Haitian ambassador to Washington D.C. but then Publisher of the right-wing newspaper Haiti Observateur, released a slanted translation. The translation was circulated by Ellen Cosgrove, the political officer of the U.S. Embassy in 1991, to the international press as proof that Aristide supported “pe lebrun” or necklacing with burning tires doused with gasoline. Other translators and scholars have criticized Joseph and the U.S. for that slant countering that Aristide’s reference to “tool” and “smell” were colorful Kreyol metaphors describing Haiti’s constitution. They say this only becomes clear when heard in the context of the entire speech.
The political context of the speech is equally important as it follows an attempt by the Duavlierists and Roger Lafontant to overthrow Aristide’s government in a coup only three months earlier. Aristide was caught between plots by Duvalierists aligned with Haiti’s wealthy elite and the violent reaction and impulses of the Haitian masses to decades of brutal repression known as dechoukaj.
The military coup that overthrew Aristide began on September 29, 1991, two days after he delivered this speech. The Joseph translation of the speech was handed out by Ellen Cosgrove to the press on October 7, 1991 during a visit by the Organization of American States (OAS) to Haiti.
This speech would be referred to many times, including in the present context, to justify keeping Aristide out of politics and the violent repression of Haiti’s poor masses represented by the Lavalas movement.
Kevin Pina and the Haiti Information Project (HIP) now offer for history the complete unedited speech in Kreyol as it was videotaped that day in Sept. 1991.
SUPPORT FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS IN HAITI
STOP THE ATTACKS ON FANMI LAVALAS
On June 7th, the office of Dr. Maryse Narcisse, the presidential candidate of Fanmi Lavalas, the party of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide who publicly endorsed her, was sprayed with gunfire. This blatant violence against the movement that has long represented Haiti’s poor majority sparked outrage in Haiti but was met by silence in the mainstream media in the U.S. The State Department, which routinely portrays itself as a defender of democracy around the world, including in Haiti, had nothing to say about the attack.
This is no surprise. The U.S., which orchestrated the 2004 coup against the democratically elected government of President Aristide, has been determined to prevent another Lavalas administration from governing in Haiti. Having put in power former president Michel Martelly, who was associated with the disgraced Duvalier regime, through fraudulent elections in 2011, the State Department has been intent on imposing his successor through the same means. In 2015, fraudulent elections placed a little known Martelly protégé in the lead position heading to a run-off. Despite independent investigations that revealed burning of ballots, theft of ballot boxes, “election observers” who voted over and over again, and widespread voter suppression, U.S. State Department Special Coordinator Kenneth Merten argued that Haitians should accept the 2015 results and move on to the next round.
But Haitians refused the dictates of the State Department with statements and banners declaring “We Will Not Obey”. Calling the results an “electoral coup”, tens of thousands of people took to the streets demanding free and fair elections, insisting that their voices be heard and respected. It was only due to these popular protests that the Martelly dictatorial regime was replaced by an interim government, a verification commission was set up to investigate the elections, the fraud was exposed, and the 2015 elections were annulled.
This is a remarkable victory for the grassroots movement in Haiti. But, as Haiti proceeds towards a new round of elections, the State Department and the European Union are challenging the decision to annul the 2015 elections. Both have threatened Haiti with economic consequences if the electoral process does not proceed to their satisfaction. And they are allowing anti-Lavalas armed vigilantes like Guy Philippe, wanted as a drug trafficker by the DEA, to maraud through Haiti.
As the new round of electoral campaigning begins, we view with alarm the attack on Dr. Maryse Narcisse and Fanmi Lavalas. We urge friends and supporters of Haiti to send a clear and strong message to both the State Department and your Congressional representatives.
* Condemn the armed attack on the offices of Dr. Maryse Narcisse and the continued attacks against the Lavalas movement.
* Denounce the continued interference and threats from the State Department and the European Union. They are attacks on Haitian sovereignty and self-determination.
* Support the right of the Haitian people to choose their own government through transparent, free and fair elections.
CALL SECRETARY KERRY’S OFFICE AT: 202-647-9572
or GO TO THE STATE DEPARTMENT WEBSITE AT: https://register.state.gov/contactus/contactusform AND WRITE HIM
CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVES AND SENATORS: (+1) 202-224-3121
In the wake of the failure and collapse of the U.S. imposed dictatorship of Michel Martelly in Haiti, and as conservatives from the U.S. to the U.K. are being investigated for fraudulent electoral practices, the grassroots people of Haiti continue to escalate their fight for liberation, solidarity and dignity. Rocking the streets with “Nou pap obeyi!” illegitimate officials imposed by foreign colonizers, Haitians have fought on all levels to return governance of Haiti to its people.
This is a very powerful article documenting a very powerful movement.
Please read and spread the word far and wide!