WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson issued the following statement following a ruling to block the Trump administration’s effort to terminate Temporary Protected Status for immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Sudan:
“The ruling to block the Trump administration’s effort to end Temporary Protected Status for 300,000 immigrants who are living and working legally in the United States, including thousands of Haitians in my district, is good news. It is, however, only a temporary reprieve, which is why I will continue to fight to extend, not end, TPS.
“The administration has argued that the need for such a program no longer exists because, in their view, the conditions in Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Sudan that led to its creation no longer exist. Having toured Haiti and viewed first-hand the extreme devastation generated by a cholera outbreak started by United Nations peacekeepers and catastrophic natural disasters, I know for a fact that there is a definite need to continue TPS for Haitian nationals.
“In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Edward Chen noted that there is ‘direct evidence of animus’ and ‘circumstantial evidence of race being a motivating factor’ in the administration’s decision to end TPS. The judge also noted that ‘at the apparent behest of then-DHS Secretary Kelly, there was an effort to gather negative information about Haitian TPS beneficiaries prior to the decision on Haiti’s TP designation – in particular, whether Haitian TPS beneficiaries had been convicted of crimes or were on public or private relief.’
“While disturbing, these findings come as no surprise. From the start of his administration, President Trump has made it more than clear, with his Muslim ban and more recently the inhumane treatment of migrant children, that people with brown skin are unwelcome here. It is incumbent upon us to do everything in our power to undo these racists acts.
“Last fall, I joined a bipartisan group of Florida lawmakers to introduce the Extending Status Protection for Eligible Refugees with Established Residency Act of 2017, which provides a pathway for certain nationals of Haiti, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Honduras who received TPS before January 13, 2011, to adjust their status to Legal Permanent Resident. I also introduced a bipartisan resolution to extend Temporary Protected Status to Haitian nationals until Haiti has demonstrably recovered from a series of natural and manmade disasters.
“Deporting hardworking immigrants who positively impact our nation’s culture and economy is cruel and unnecessary. I strongly urge Department of Homeland Security officials to travel to Haiti and the other nations to see for themselves why TPS advocates are fighting so hard to preserve the program.”
Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson is a fourth-term Congresswoman from Florida representing parts of Northern Miami-Dade and Southeast Broward counties. A former state legislator and school principal, she is the founder of the 5000 Role Models for Excellence Project, a mentoring program for young males at risk of dropping out of school. Congresswoman Wilson also founded and chairs the Florida Ports Caucus, a bipartisan taskforce that coordinates federal action in support of Florida’s harbors and waterways. The Florida lawmaker sits on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Education and the Workforce Committee.