The following statement on Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians living in the U.S. can be attributed to Hector Figueroa President of 32BJ SEIU:
Granting TPS extension to the 50,000 hardworking, law-abiding Haitian already living peaceful and productive lives among us is the right thing to do for humanitarian and national security reasons. There’s strong bipartisan and community support to extend TPS beyond the limited 6 month period announced today to avoid destabilizing the families and communities built by Haitian men and women across the United States that contribute not only to the U.S. economy but to the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
Haiti is still struggling to recover from the devastation caused by Hurricane Mathew and will need more time to recover. The U.N. estimates at least 1.4 million Haitians are now in need of urgent assistance as clean water, food, and medicine are in short supply, and a cholera outbreak, described as the worst epidemic of cholera in recent history, is still ongoing.
Haitian TPS holders contribute $280 million to the U.S. GDP and $42 million to Social Security and to Medicare each year. More than 1 in 5 Haitian TPS holders are parents of US-born American children. They are hardworking people making substantial contributions to our country and keeping Haiti as stable as possible as the country rebuilds. According to a February 2016 report, remittances to Haiti exceeded $2 billion –22.7 percent of Haiti’s GDP.
Extending TPS for Haitian and Central Americans—who will also see their temporary status expire in January—is not only a response to our commitment to our traditions and values as a welcoming country, it’s in our national interest.
With more than 155,000 members in 11 states and Washington DC 32BJ is the largest building service workers union in the country