Florida Senate - 2018 SM 442 By Senator Campbell 38-00677-18 2018442__ 1 Senate Memorial 2 A memorial to the President of the United States, the 3 Secretary of the United States Department of State, 4 and the Secretary of the United States Department of 5 Homeland Security to urge the extension of Haiti’s 6 temporary protected status designation for at least 18 7 months beyond its scheduled January 22, 2018, 8 expiration. 9 10 WHEREAS, on September 16, 2016, while still campaigning for 11 the presidency, President Donald J. Trump told a gathering of 12 Haitian-Americans that he would be their “greatest champion,” 13 praised their “perseverance, entrepreneurship, creativity, and 14 faith,” and stated that “all the things that make America good 15 and strong can be found right here, amazing people, so I come 16 here today to say that the Haitian-American community deserves 17 our gratitude and our respect, and I want you to know you have 18 my respect,” and 19 WHEREAS, President Trump continued, “It’s simply hard to 20 believe that something like that could have happened, the 21 turmoil and pain and suffering that so many people are going 22 through. The 2010 Haitian earthquake unleashed a horrible and 23 catastrophic devastation. Over 300,000 dead, unbelievable, 24 300,000; millions displaced or injured; homes, businesses, 25 schools reduced to rubble; amid the suffering Haiti showed the 26 world so much heart and so much incredible resilience, but the 27 truth is Haiti is still suffering very badly, maybe as badly, 28 after all of the tears and all of the money and all of the 29 work,” and 30 WHEREAS, President Trump went on to say, “The Haitian 31 people deserve better, so... I will give them better. Today we 32 begin a new chapter, together we will build a relationship based 33 on mutual respect and friendship and love, and... we will really 34 do something very special with our commonly shared values 35 because we have lots of commonly shared values, maybe full 36 shared values... and whether you vote for me or don’t vote for 37 me, I really want to be your greatest champion, and I will be 38 your champion whether you vote for me or not... we are going to 39 do things for you folks that you have really deserved for a long 40 time. You’re an amazing community and it’s an honor to be with 41 you,” and 42 WHEREAS, immediately following the devastating January 2010 43 earthquake in Haiti, the United States Department of Homeland 44 Security announced that it would provide temporary protected 45 status (TPS) to Haitian nationals in order to allow those 46 eligible to continue living and working in the United States, 47 and 48 WHEREAS, Haiti has not yet fully recovered from the 2010 49 earthquake, as nearly 40,000 earthquake victims are still 50 residing in internally displaced persons camps and another 51 200,000 have been relocated to a new settlement, called Canaan, 52 to begin rebuilding their lives, and 53 WHEREAS, since the earthquake, the Haitian people have also 54 faced a devastating cholera outbreak, after the disease was 55 allegedly introduced to the country by United Nations 56 peacekeepers, which has been responsible for nearly 10,000 57 fatalities and 800,000 illnesses, and 58 WHEREAS, in October 2016, Hurricane Matthew became the 59 first Category 4 hurricane to hit Haiti in more than 50 years, 60 causing 1,000 fatalities, leaving hundreds of thousands of 61 Haitians without potable water or food, and destroying crops, 62 livestock, and infrastructure in broad swaths of the country, 63 and 64 WHEREAS, since Haiti’s initial TPS designation in 2010, the 65 designation has been extended numerous times by the United 66 States Department of Homeland Security due to the devastation 67 that Haiti continues to face, and 68 WHEREAS, in a December 2016 report, United States 69 Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) concluded that the 70 conditions in Haiti warranted another extension of the TPS 71 designation, and then-Secretary of State John F. Kerry 72 recommended continuing the designation that same month, and 73 WHEREAS, the acting director of USCIS recommended in April 74 2017 that Haiti no longer retain its TPS designation, which is 75 in direct contradiction with the recommendation made under the 76 previous administration, and 77 WHEREAS, on May 22, 2017, the United States Department of 78 Homeland Security extended Haiti’s TPS designation for six 79 months beyond the scheduled July 22, 2017, expiration date and 80 that designation is now scheduled to end on January 22, 2018, 81 and 82 WHEREAS, there has been significant bipartisan and public 83 support for an extension of Haiti’s TPS designation, evidenced 84 through the support voiced by numerous members of the Florida 85 congressional delegation, including Senators Bill Nelson and 86 Marco Rubio; Florida Governor Rick Scott; faith leaders; 87 physicians; the mayors of several large American cities; and the 88 editorial boards of several large newspapers, and the adoption 89 of resolutions by the United States Conference of Mayors, the 90 Broward County Board of County Commissioners, and the City 91 Council of the City of North Miami, and 92 WHEREAS, the failure to extend Haiti’s TPS designation 93 beyond January 22, 2018, would be in conflict with the promises 94 that President Trump made to Haitian-Americans while on the 95 campaign trail, and 96 WHEREAS, many of the 58,000 Haitian nationals who enjoy TPS 97 status regularly send remittances to relatives in Haiti to 98 assist them in their recovery, and have strong ties to their 99 local communities, including many who have American-born 100 children, and 101 WHEREAS, as Haiti continues to struggle to recover from the 102 catastrophes experienced in recent years, Haiti’s government is 103 not equipped to safely receive or assimilate the 58,000 Haitian 104 nationals living in the United States under TPS or to replace 105 their remittances should they be deported, and 106 WHEREAS, Haiti’s recovery and stability are in the national 107 security interests of the United States, and the extension of 108 Haiti’s TPS designation for at least 18 months beyond its 109 January 22, 2018, expiration would support the national security 110 interests of both the United States and Haiti, NOW, THEREFORE, 111 112 Be It Resolved by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 113 114 That the Legislature of the State of Florida urges the 115 President of the United States to instruct the United States 116 Department of Homeland Security to extend Haiti’s TPS 117 designation for at least 18 months beyond its scheduled January 118 22, 2018, expiration. 119 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Secretary of the United 120 States Department of State is urged to recommend to the 121 President of the United States and the United States Department 122 of Homeland Security that conditions in Haiti fully warrant that 123 the United States Department of Homeland Security extend Haiti’s 124 TPS designation for at least 18 months beyond its scheduled 125 January 22, 2018, expiration. 126 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Secretary of the United 127 States Department of Homeland Security is urged to extend 128 Haiti’s TPS designation for at least 18 months beyond its 129 scheduled January 22, 2018, expiration. 130 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Secretary of State dispatch 131 copies of this memorial to the President of the United States, 132 the Chief of Staff to the President of the United States, the 133 Secretary of the United States Department of State, and the 134 Secretary of the United States Department of Homeland Security.