WASHINGTON - Black Florida Congressman Alcee L. Hastings sent the following letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. The letter requests an update and additional information regarding the granting of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians. (Below is a copy of the letter).
July 28, 2010
The Honorable Janet Napolitano
Secretary of Homeland Security
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Washington, D.C. 20528
Dear Secretary Napolitano,
As we commemorate the six month anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Haiti and as a result, the granting of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians, I am concerned that many of the individuals who qualify for TPS are not benefitting from this protection. I therefore respectfully request an update and additional information regarding the implementation of the TPS program.
First, I would greatly appreciate it if you would provide me with the number of individuals who have applied for TPS, the number who have received it, the number who are awaiting a decision, and the number who have been denied. Of those who have been denied, please explain the primary reasons for denial. Such information would better allow me to understand the extent to which Haitians are seeking TPS and if there are any impediments in the process.
I am also concerned that many who may benefit from TPS are not seeking this status. Has your Department identified particular challenges faced by applicants during the application process? For example, have fees been a particular burden, and how many individuals have been granted fee waivers? Additionally, have there been many incidences of fraud found thus far, both with regard to individuals submitting fraudulent applications and with those who take advantage of likely applicants? What measures has your Department taken to better educate the Haitian community on TPS and the application process?
As you know, TPS is a key component of Haiti’s ongoing recovery efforts. Remittances sent by those who are now able to legally work sustain countless lives on the island, and repatriated Haitians would only be an additional burden to the already struggling government. As such, it is in our best interest to ensure that TPS is implemented in an effective, efficient fashion.
I greatly appreciate your recent extension of the application deadline for TPS, and look forward to working with you to ensure that all who qualify are seeking and receiving this protection. Thank you for consideration.
Alcee L. Hastings
Member of Congress
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings is Vice Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, a senior member of the House Rules Committee, and Co-Chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission.