Monday, October 26, 2009

Oct. 26: Obama Must Address Status of Haitians

By Sylvia Gurinsky

TPS. Temporary Protected Status.

It's the Holy Grail for thousands of Haitians in the United States, some for many years. President Barack Obama has yet to say anything about it.

Tonight, Obama is appearing at a fund-raiser at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach. Among the protesters outside the hotel are those campaigning for TPS.

Undoubtedly, Obama is concerned about the immediate effect of announcing changes in immigration status, particularly for anyone from Cuba or Haiti. It doesn't take much to get the boats sailing toward South Florida - just a little bit of hope.

He is almost certainly consulting with the familiar face - former President Bill Clinton - who is the United Nations' special envoy to Haiti. Clinton dealt with the issue of immigration for both Haitians and Cubans at length during his two terms in the White House. Clinton recommends granting TPS.

The concern by the Obama Administration is understandable. But that doesn't mean Obama can't address the matter of Haitians who are already in this country - particularly those still in detention.

Obama should make an announcement on their status. The announcement should be simple: TPS.

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