“While I am relieved that this policy change will not go into effect for another 18 months, I am disappointed by the Trump Administration and the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for the tens of thousands of Haitian TPS holders living in this country, the 5,000 residing in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the hundreds living in my district. The individuals affected by the termination of this program are our friends, our neighbors, our coworkers, and local small business owners who help to power the economic engine of our cities and contribute to the fabric of our society.
As Chair of the Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Affairs, I was just in Washington, D.C. where we met with State Department officials for an update on the situation in Haiti. While conditions have been improving in the years following the devastating 2010 earthquake, it was clear from the briefing we received that the circumstances that originally prompted the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to designate TPS to Haitians have not been resolved, and in some cases have only worsened. Given everything we learned from that briefing, I truly doubt DHS’ assertion that the ‘extraordinary but temporary conditions caused by the 2010 earthquake no longer exist.’
To be sure, the termination of Temporary Protected Status for Haitians has the power to break apart families and adversely impact several key industries of our labor force and local economy. TPS has received support from both Democrats and Republicans, and I am hopeful that Congress will now take action to develop a permanent solution for all TPS holders. Members of our Massachusetts congressional delegation have been vocal supporters of protecting TPS recipients, and I hope that Congress will follow their lead and act swiftly to find a resolution.”