Advocates wonder why Marco Rubio is hesitant about legislation protecting Haitians – Florida Politics (blog)
Last month, the Trump administration decided to sunset a humanitarian program in 18 months that allowed some 59,000 Haitians to live and work in the United States after a 2010 earthquake ravaged their country.
In response, several members of South Florida’s congressional delegation (from both sides of the aisle) sponsored legislation to address the issue.
Marco Rubio wasn’t one of them.
“Sen. Marco Rubio, we need to hear your voice, and we need to hear it right now,” said Marleine Bastien, executive director with Haitian Women of Miami, during a Friday conference call.
Congress set up the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in 1990 to protect foreign nationals from being returned to their countries amid instability and precarious conditions caused by natural disasters or armed conflict.
In November, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sent a letter to acting DHS secretary Elaine Duke informing her that conditions in Central America and Haiti used to justify the protection no longer necessitate a reprieve for migrants. Based on the president’s directive, Haitians with TPS will be expected to leave the United States by July 2019 or face deportation.
” … I continue to urge the administration to extend Haiti’s TPS designation for 18 more months,” Rubio wrote. “As Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere and as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I continue to strongly support U.S. initiatives that promote good governance and security, combat poverty and health epidemics, and advance economic opportunities for the people of Haiti.”
South Florida U.S. Representatives Carlos Curbelo, Frederica Wilson, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Alcee Hastings introduced bipartisan legislation in late October to grant legal